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Updated: August 21, 2023 101

101: Tackling competition

Competition comes in three main forms: Direct competition, where competitors offer a product that addresses the same need; indirect competition, where companies sell the same product with different purposes, such as a real estate company working with residential clients and a realty office serving commercial clients; and replacement competition, where different products in the marketplace could threaten to replace products you sell to customers. A company producing nicotine gum may be a replacement competitor to a company producing cigarettes, for example.

Here are ways to tackle competition.

More specifically define the brand. By better aligning the brand’s image with the values and interests of your target demographic, you will better distinguish yourself from competitors. “For instance, many winter coats keep people warm, but when buying one, consumers might first shop with brands that match their interests like snowboarding, fashion, or hiking,” says Autumn Joyce at Another tip: Represent groups other companies may ignore.

Find stellar employees. They will make a lasting impression on your customers, says the editorial team at Indeed. Efforts should go into not only recruiting great talent, but retaining great talent. Your employees will play a direct role in the perception of your business. For example, do you have a compensation structure that’s truly unique and attractive compared to your competitors? These individuals, remember, will uphold the vision on which the organization is built.

Provide the most value. Ways to increase value are many, Samuel Thimothy of OneIMS tells Forbes. They include doing more for the same price, better service, a better product, or partnering with other companies to bring better products and services. “Bringing value could also mean niching down to serve a subset of the saturated market if you notice the submarket is underserved and competition is near nonexistent,” he notes. “If you do it right, you'll one day grow to take over a bigger piece of the market.”

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