As you’ll see with SWOT analysis (below), identifying threats is an important part of marketing, and threats don’t usually come any bigger than in the form of competitors.
If you research them to find out their strengths and weaknesses, you can use that information to attack them in the right places with an optimised offering or special offer, and defend your weaknesses better by improving in their areas of strength.
Common methods of competitor research include online research and mystery shopping.
SWOT analysis is the study of a product or business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats. It’s a commonly used strategic tool as well as a product-focused marketing tool that can help you form your marketing objectives.
Say, for example, you identify:
- your brand reputation in your core market as a strength
- your reliance on one core product for revenue as a weakness
- a competitor’s diverse product streams as a threat
- a current lack of significant players in a related emerging market as an opportunity.
Backed by the SWOT analysis, which has helped you rationalise the decision, you might then take the strategic step to enter that new market to improve your position in all four areas.