Keep The Competition Closer

22 Jul
Keep the Competition Closer

It’s the Monday morning after taking the bold step to leave your corporate role. You and a handful of colleagues are branching out to follow your passion and start your own business. The team is almost ready to unveil your joint vision which will revolutionize the sports industry. While researching a competitor, you notice they used a similar approach to bring their latest product to market. How can you best leverage knowledge from the competition?

Competitive analysis

Conducting a comparative content analysis is one approach to learning from competitors. By studying competitor ads, you can better understand the market and how to attract your target audience. For example, you could assemble a collection of print, videos, and online ads for similar products or services. With the continued growth of online shopping, keep in mind your competitors won’t only originate from organizations in your country. Researching campaigns on sites like Adsoftheworld can provide a more global view.

Learning From Mistakes

Why is it essential to study the competition? Researching competitors allows you to understand their decisions and why they used specific tactics to market their products/services. There is a lot to learn from the creative strategy and demographics to the reasons for selecting a particular segment as the primary or secondary target. Suppose your product targets a similar demographic to one of your competitors. The type of media they use may be worth considering. If your main competitor targeted tweens and their approach was unsuccessful, your new venture could save time and money by learning from competitor missteps. However, if they were unsuccessful, your organization will have an opportunity to save time and money and learn from the competition’s mistakes. Understanding your competitors’ successes and failures will give you the knowledge to make well-informed decisions to help your business grow and thrive.

The Secret Shopper

An article on suggests you gather information directly from the competition by touring their physical location or e-commerce experience as a potential customer. This approach could help you understand how the competitors’ product is marketed and sold at a retail level. Sales representatives, customer service personnel and yes, even chat bots often share the strongest features, advantages, and benefits of competitors’ products while persuading you to purchase one brand over another.

SWOT Analysis

Undertaking a thorough SWOT analysis is a must-do for any new venture. The SWOT analysis will illustrate your strengths and weaknesses, opportunities in the category and threats or barriers you’ll need to overcome to be successful.

Keep the competition closer


Strengths refer to the advantages one company has over another. The strength of your start-up may be a proprietary design, new components or technology which will revolutionize the sports industry.


Weaknesses are areas you will need to address. One of your start-up’s main weaknesses in the early stages could be a lack of awareness. When launching a new product in any market, consumer awareness will likely be relatively low or non-existent compared to your competitors in the category.


Opportunities are factors your organization can leverage to establish a competitive advantage in the category. Suppose you introduce your product in professional baseball (MLB). If the product is successful, you may have an opportunity to pivot into professional hockey (NHL) or soccer (MLS) once you have established your brand.


Whether it’s the rising cost of materials or a growing list of competitors in that category, threats will negatively affect your organization and how you do business. One threat to your start-up’s success could be an indirect competitor developing a similar product for different industries and purposes. If they release their product first, the opportunities you perceived in the SWOT analysis may benefit your competitor instead.

Keep The Competition Closer

The decision to leave an established business to start one of your own is ambitious. However, it can also be a stressful experience. Even if you’ve already conducted a significant amount of research, taking the time to learn about local and global competitors will give you insight into the market you are about to enter. Studying your competitors’ advertising will give you a better idea of what kind of creative work may appeal to your audience. Using a SWOT analysis will help you define your goals and objectives based on strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Remember, just because you’re competing for market share, doesn’t mean you can’t learn from your competitors’ successes and failures. Keep your friends close and the competition closer.