First off, identifying competition isn’t as easy as it might seem, particularly if you’ve developed a newly-conceived product or service. You’re first reaction is, “I don’t have any competitors”. But this just isn’t true.
Whatever people are doing now to address the problem you solve with more proficancy is competition. That and inertia. You’ll have to go through the process of enticing early adopters to try this alternative to what they’ve been using or doing. Once you’ve convinced them to become customers you’re next step is to get them to become champions of your solution and spread the word to less adventurous prospects.
So your competition is the way people are coping today as well as a natural reluctance to stray from the “tried and true”.
In addition, for most brands there’s the competition for the finite dollar. If you’re in the entertainment business, discretionary purchasing power may be stretched between music or film downloads, concerts or plays, a new TV or a better sound system.
You’ll at least need to consider and gauge the importance of every competitive aspect concerning your brand. You don’t want to be blind-sided.
You’ll also want to assess the possibility of competitors developing new technologies and product categories that meet customer needs even better, faster, less expensively or more conveniently than your offering.
If you’ve already considered these threats in your business plan or product development spec, just include them in the brand platform and review them from the stand point of positioning your product against threats.
Next time, what are the important competitive factors to consider and include in your platform.