No brand is immune to competition. Even market leaders have their
nemesis, and direct competitors keep a company from having the entire
pie for itself. In many cases, competition can actually be mutually
beneficial, as it keeps the competing parties from becoming complacent.
In always trying to outdo each other, the companies push themselves to
improve their brands and the products or services they carry. It is a
welcome cycle that not many businesses want to admit (or enjoy).
Competitive analysis begins in much the same way a company would
evaluate its own brand. You can examine your competitor’s value
proposition in I3 terms based on their marketing claims. Find out
exactly what they are saying that gives them an edge from their
competition and compare that to your own unique selling points. If both
of you are claiming the same thing, you end up canceling each other out
on that factor, all other things remaining equal. I call this the
overlapping value proposition: two companies making equally valid claims
to a differentiator, neutralizing each other in the market on that
Take for example, Coca Cola and Pepsi. Both of these fizzy drinks are
refreshing, affordable, and, for a time, they were actually marketed as
health tonics. The Cola Wars are infamous in the marketing world. When
it finally hit them that there is no use trying to convince consumers
that one brand of soda tastes better than the other, they decided to go
with more distinct (and emotional) approaches.
May 22nd, 2015
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