Know your competition (don't tell me you don't have any)

Competition motivates so much of what we do both personally and professionally—who doesn’t love to win, after all—that saying you need to know who you’re playing against might be the understatement of the year. It’s why the best sports teams spend almost as much time watching game film as they do on the practice field. Teams have entire coaching staffs dedicated to analyzing game film to study an opponent’s strengths, weaknesses and tendencies and compare them to your own. In business, this translates to questions like:

  • How does my competition leverage press releases to increase share of voice?

  • How are they utilizing their executives as thought leaders?

  • What awards are they winning?

  • What speaking engagements or conferences are they participating in?

When going to market, you have to know where your product and brand fit. That is, the unique opportunities you have to speak to your target audience where your competition isn’t already doing so.

We often hear companies say, “Well, there’s nobody out there that's really doing what we’re doing.” That is simply not true in the vast majority of cases.

As Kathleen wrote in a Forbes piece:

“The days of pure B2B and B2C competition are gone. A fintech company, for instance, is not just competing with other fintechs, or even banks and credit unions. It competes against every other company that offers an even remotely similar experience, whether it’s digital—an app, a website, a mobile experience—or physical—retail checkout or brick-and-mortar interactions. Welcome to the world of brand versus everyone else. “

When choosing to partner with a PR firm, ask upfront if they have access to an analytics platform that has share of voice capabilities. For example, the platform we use at Red Fan allows you to divide your industry into as many top competitors as you want, pull relevant PR articles for each company and show you a personalized competitive landscape for your business. This way, you can see where you’re lacking and where you’re advancing in relation to your competition.

With research ahead of time, a differentiated product/company and a PR firm that’s willing to tell your story in a unique way, you’ll be able to stand apart from your competition, which, don’t be fooled, does exist.


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