Did you know that Tofurious is my fifth business? Before I jump into any venture, my first analysis isn’t how much money I could make. It is whether I could compete in the existing space.

A lot of times, it’s easy to point the finger and say, “that person or thing is my competition!” In actuality, it’s far more complex. There are four types of competitors in addition to the obvious choice.

To speak universally, because everyone has a different type of business, I will use the Apple iPad as my model. If you’d like, I encourage you to fill in the blanks for your own scenarios. This is an important exercise to examine for all businesses. This helps you understand your current marketplace as well as future ones.

Brand Competitor

A brand competitor for the iPad is the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. Both Samsung and Apple are competing in the same market with their products offering similar features and benefits, along with similar prices.

The rival tablets are roughly of similar size and offer similar functions to the user. Their beginning cost is approximately $500 for the base model. Prices become even more comparable when a customer starts adding features like cellular or more gigabytes to their device.

Your Obvious Brand Competitor
Outline three competitors in your space that offer similar services for a similar price.

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Helpful Link: How to Craft Your Brand Statement

brand competitor

Product Competitor

A product competitor for the iPad is the Kindle Fire. This device competes in the same product class, but can be seen as an iPad alternative. It too is a tablet, but it costs much less, at around $200.

In addition, the Kindle Fire is marketed with different features compared to the iPad, such as a huge library of readily available TV shows, books, and movies. The iPad tends to stress its large networks within the App store. These apps go much further beyond TV shows and books; they concentrate on utility and games.

Your “Cheap” Competitor
Outline three inferior competitors in your space that offer slightly less services for a cheaper price. This is the same as Chinese manufacturers for production companies.

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Helpful Link: Why a Girl Scout Could Outsell You

product competitor

Generic Competitor

A generic competitor for the iPad is the Google Chromebook. This is a very different product from the iPad, but it attempts to satisfy the same basic customer need.

The Chromebook, or essentially, any other cheap laptop, gets the job done. It isn’t a tablet, but it can do everything a tablet is capable of – browse the web, email, watch movies, etc. It is about $250, which is a decent price for such a device.

Your “Uncle Bob” Competitor
Uncle Bob can shoot a wedding for a slice of cake … or better yet, guests can capture the day with disposable cameras. What are some other generic competitors?

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Helpful Link: How to Handle Discounters

generic competitor

Total Budget Competitor

A total budget competitor for the iPad would be anything that costs around $500, which is the basic amount of financial resources of the iPad customer. Instead of buying an iPad for $500, the same customer could spend that money on a pair of collectible Air Jordan shoes, a nice piece of jewelry or even a bottle of fine champagne.

These are all items that could be considerable to the customer if he or she has the money to buy an iPad initially. This type of competitor hopes that the customer will forgo one item in place of something that may be completely different. It’s all the same money being used, but a matter of where it will be spent.

Your Total Budget Competitor
What could possibly be more important than hiring a service such as yours? Surprisingly, there are a number. Think about it.

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Helpful Link: Why Fear Works

total budget competitor

In the end, if there is a certain amount of money in your prospects’ pockets, you have to determine how to coax them to spend it on you. The amount of money is finite. The possibilities for spending that money are infinite.

Read the helpful articles from the above links, think deeply about your competitive analysis and reflect on the bottom line question of Why You?

Your friend,

Lawrence Chan

P.S. I will be joining Jasmine Star for a small segment on CreativeLive on the topic of SEO TODAY, March 6th at 1:15PM. If you’ve ever wondered how to rank high on search engines and strategies beyond that, tune in here. It’s going to be fun!

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P.P.S. Going to WPPI next week? Join me on Monday, March 11th, at 4-5:30PM for my Platform Class on Content Marketing and Social Media: The Secrets to More Bookings and Online Engagement.

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