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Better competitor intelligence…

“Competitor knowledge is crucial”

“Understanding our competitors is a KPI for many of us”

“We have a whole department dedicated to CI”

These phrases (and more) we hear daily within whatever business we work for. It’s a natural instinct to want to know more and more about ‘the competition’. Better CI gives you a chance to get one over on your competitor. To target them in a better way, to try and get their customers to be yours. There is one thing you can be sure of, and that is that your competitors are watching your every move. Anything they can find on you they will use, any knowledge they can find on you is useful. Some employ people from the competition to find out more about them – why not, it’s all part of the game isn’t it.

So what about your competitors customers – and I’m not talking about their fans here, they’re harder to prise away. I’m talking about the infrequent customer, the majority, the people that buy less often but buy all the same. How do you understand their (and your) infrequent customer – often still fans, but not as vocal as the ‘fans’. In addition the customer that has less brand loyalty and can easily switch from one brand to another. They’re all there to be understood and that’s where people are using Watch Me Think.

Firstly, 70% of the work we currently do is for clients who want to understand their competitors customers, not theirs.

Secondly, we run projects (which we’ve talked about in previous posts) on immersion into competitors customers – how do they interact with the brand, what do they like, what do they dislike. What do they have trouble with – does the pack frustrate them? Seeing this our clients are able to formulate potential campaigns against their competitors – targeting their areas of weakness in their consumer eyes.

Finally, new products. With a 5 day turnaround on most projects, a product that is launched by a competitor on Monday, can have 15 (or however many are required) videos of consumers using that product in home by Friday all in a nice short summary format for people to see real reaction to a new product. Not research that spends 8 weeks in the field but videos that come back in the same week. Fast insight enabling fast reactions on campaigns. That kind of quick reaction means that you reduce the potential to damage your market share.

You can see what the consumer likes and merge that into your NPD process.

You can see what the customer dislikes and start using that in your advertising.

Simply put, it’s a way to get better I in the CI, which can only be a good thing.