In this article, we’ll see the complexity of finding a company's most significant competitors. To conduct an analysis, it's important to be able to identify our competitors and understand the tools available for locating them. Understanding and studying the competence is essential for detecting threats and boost your business.
Recognizing the main competitors is an essential requirement when establishing a company. Even if we have been exporting to a market for many years, it may be impossible to know all competitors or substitute products, unless it's a very niche market. Therefore, we will analyze the most important points for finding and analyzing a company's competitors.
Nowadays, we perceive a significant lack of visibility and transparency from companies on this matter. We depend on the information provided by some and others, and it is up to us to assess the truthfulness and accuracy of what we are told. This often leads to having incomplete and, in many cases, uncertain information.
There are a series of criteria that will help us distinguish and categorize our competition.
A crucial aspect to consider in understanding competitors is knowing their origin. Depending on the country of origin of my competence, it may have entirely different characteristics and a different way of doing business. The country of origin influences the quality and features of products and materials, so if they are vastly different from yours, you can focus efforts and set specific goals on companies working with product lines more similar to yours.
This knowledge not only highlights differences but becomes the key to staying ahead of the competition by strengthening and adapting sales strategies. By understanding these variations regionally, we can chart an evolutionary and successful path in the international market.
A fundamental element when tracking competitors is knowing the type of product each company sells.
Competitors can be direct if they export the same product or equivalent and target the same market segments; or indirect if they distribute similar products, and their markets also coincide. On the other hand, there are competitors that, despite selling a different product than ours, target the same market and therefore pose a real threat to our business, for example, electric bicycles and electric scooters. This is a crucial point to consider when researching and investigating the competition, as it will be necessary to explore other types of products that serve the same function, whether they are substitutes or focused on a market segment similar or compatible with your own.
It's important to differentiate between a substitute product and a market segment. The first one refers to a different product from ours that a company manufactures and it is sold in the same market as yours, it means, the same market segment. The latter is related to the target audience or the geographical area where different products are marketed.
Another key component to consider regarding your competence is knowing the product volumes they are exporting to their customers. This translates into understanding whether their operations involve large quantities or, on the contrary, small shipments, or if they carry out occasional exports rather than establishing long-term relationships with their buyers.
With this information, and knowing which is the kind of sales relationships we want to establish with our potential customers, we will be able to differentiate direct competitors, setting aside consideration for companies with different objectives and, therefore, less relevants.
Knowing whether the competitor we are focusing on is exporting to the same country where we export or intend to export is a factor that directly impacts the company. Identifying whether competitors are doing business in my target market provides valuable insights. Are they selling to the same companies that interest me?
This analysis will determine whether a competitor needs to be closely monitored or, on the contrary, if we need to adjust our focus and concentrate on other companies that could pose a threat to our exports. In this way, we will manage to focus on the actual competence for our business.
One of the biggest problems when carrying out a competitors market study is: how to find them? There exist different tools to localize the competence.
Firstly, you can reach out to current customers. If there is a certain connection or trust with a customer, you can contact them to provide information on which companies are offering alternatives and, ideally, what those options are.
Additionally, a good method to learn about your current competence is through trade fairs. You can leverage the investment made not only to attract customers but also to identify who is trying to sell to them or who is presenting themselves similarly to your company at such events.
The next option to find competitors for your company is the most common and the first one we usually turn to, even though it may not be the most effective. It involves conducting online searches, exploring specialized websites, and different online sources for companies offering the same or similar products to ours.
Internet searches are an essential resource for any type of research. However, we may find a limited number of competitors, and we may not really know which markets they export to or their customer volume. Therefore, it's more advisable to use them as a supporting tool, to corroborate and reinforce decisions based on information obtained from other sources.
Finally, the most efficient and comprehensive way to know and understand competitors is to use Sales Intelligence. These are software and technologies that provide detailed information about companies competing with your business based on specific criteria. An example of such Intelligences is xNova, where you can get a list of all companies competing in your market and who their customers are.
This way, you can stay ahead of the competence by knowing their latest moves and relationships with customers, providing a competitive advantage and significant value addition to your business.
In summary, detailed knowledge of the competition and their movements becomes a valuable advantage when dealing with other clients and identifying potential threats you may be facing. Currently, this is easier than ever thanks to technology; the use of Sales Intelligence is crucial to obtain a comprehensive analysis of competitors, providing a clear view of the target market and facilitating the adaptation of products to the specific demands of new markets. xNova technology will enable you to adapt to market trends and assess the viability of new business ventures, achieving sustained success for your business in an ever-evolving environment.