The market is saturated. It hardly matters anymore what industry you’re in, consumers have more choices for products and services than ever before. It used to be that once you got your product on the shelves the hard work was done. But while barriers of entry have gone down, consumer awareness is heightened. Even shopping for school supplies takes a turn when a simple number 2 pencil can have 1600+ reviews!
To survive in such cutthroat competition your product or service must meet market demands and the best way to know it will is through product comparisons.
The need of product comparison to the market is an ongoing process and should be done quickly and regularly. Gone are the days when you only had to study the market while choosing the business sector and launching the product. To keep up with the pace, you must keep an eye on the market day and night—one missed opportunity can hit your accounts hard!
Let’s discuss how to keep an eye on your products and services relating to the market:
Identify your target audience.
Each product and service is designed to cater to a particular segment of people. It is suicidal if you don’t understand YOUR target customers and their demographics. If you’re not aware of what portion of the population your product will sell to, then it will be difficult to succeed. You cannot use trial and error just hoping to stumble on the right answer and survive in the market.
Identify your competitors.
The market will always be stuffed with companies that sell the same product or service as yours. Knowing those companies is not a difficult task, but your focus should be to identify those companies which target the SAME customer base as yours. Always choose the right competitors otherwise it may mislead you. For example, Levis cannot consider Armani or Gucci as their competitors as they both target different segments and there is no space for comparison.
Create a competitive market analysis.
This can be conducted in a few ways:
- Visit competitor stores and look at their product ranges, prices, specifications and so on.
- Check their online presence and gain knowledge that way.
- Hit up social media, forums, etc. to discover the buzz around your competitors.
It is important to be impartial while conducting this study and see each competitor through the customer’s view. This way you will have a true idea of the positive and negative points of your product and you will be able to make your product more competitive.
Analyze the transactional and historical sales data of your product or service.
This data speaks a lot about how your product is performing in the market. You can also do a region-wide analysis to know the trend and potential growth areas.
Conduct a study of consumer behavior.
This can be conducted through small surveys—a quick set questions when they are purchasing your product or may be an online feedback form. The most important thing to remember is to formulate appropriate questions—they should be brief and should provide you insight into the consumer behavior.
Make your product comparison work for you:
These key areas of analysis will help you formulate a strong comparison of your product to the market. However like most data it’s only really useful if you put it to work. Make sure you get the most out of your efforts by tailoring your product or service to what the market really wants. Then repeat the process regularly to keep your business in top shape!
What’s the best lesson you learned from comparing your product or service to the market? If you’ve never done a product comparison what would you like to learn? Let us know in the comments below!