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How To Identify Business Competitors

No matter what, every single business has competitors. Whether direct, indirect, or replacement, it’s crucial to know and understand who these competitors are to make better-informed decisions regarding your own brand innovation.

But first, what exactly is direct, indirect and replacement competition?

In short, direct competitors are those businesses offering a similar or identical product or service to you. These are likely the first that spring to mind when thinking of competition to keep a close eye on.

Your indirect competitors are those businesses falling under the same category as you. However, they offer the market something different. For example, think of two restaurants, one offers pizza, and the other offers sushi.

Finally, replacement competitors offer an alternative experience to the one you offer. These competitors are tricky to identify because they are largely determined by the consumer’s personal preference. Brands may find it challenging to understand why the same kind of consumer prefers to snag a grab & go lunch, but another will take their laptop and set up their workstation to operate from the restaurant across the street.

Now that you have a solid foundation regarding the types of competitors to be aware of, let’s look at three tools you can use to determine how you can better identify these businesses.

Make Google A Familiar Friend 

In 2022, Google is your friend. And believe us, your competitors are on Google looking for and analysing you, so you need to be doing the same!

Start with the basics ‒ a quick search involving primary keywords that you would use if you were searching for your brand online. This process should involve the product or service offered, followed by the relevant location. Google will then provide you with hits. You need to pay close attention to these hits, and only on the first page ‒ don’t worry about going further. And just like that, you have established the businesses that are your direct competitors.

Harness Social Media 

Social media is a great place to keep a close watch on what competitors are up to behind the scenes. Moreover, social media gives you a bird’s eye view into what customers say about their experiences with the businesses. Importantly, your business may be brought up in a thread among others like yours, giving you more information regarding who your clientele is grouping you with, some of which you may have never heard of before. 

Monitor PPC Ads 

PPC ads are another fantastic method of determining the competition.

These ads usually appear at the beginning of search results on Google, which is another critical clue. So, what to make of the results presented? Generally, more advertisements can communicate that the competitive landscape is tight, meaning that this area could be over saturated and making an impact in the market could be tricky. Alternatively, an absence of ads could be a red flag ‒ is this offering in weak demand?

When in doubt, always return to keyword research to determine what users are punching into search engines when looking for brands like yours online.

All businesses have competitors. To ensure success, we highly recommend taking some time to determine who the top players in your game are so that you can mould a business that fits perfectly into a gap in that market.

For assistance on how to identify your business competitors, Sandbox has you covered. Contact us today for more information.

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