Competition can be tiring and downright frustrating, but it’s a given in the food and bev retail hustle. Now, you aren’t going let that slow you down, are you? Nope, didn’t think so. Instead, use the competitive landscape to your advantage. How?
Spend less time simply tracking metrics without a game plan, and more time winning by making your competitive landscape analysis more efficient. Focus on the factors matter, and you’ll come out on the other side with fewer headaches and more valuable information to form a smart strategy.
Of course that's easier said than done. Knowing where to spend your time and how best to differentiate your brand from your competors is another challenge altogether. A great place to start is by running a competitive landscape analysis. I know what you're thinking - but even though it doesn't sound like fun, it's really not so complicated.
In the video below, we break down exactly how to run a competitive landscape analysis, and offer a few examples for the food and beverage space in particular. In less than four minutes, you'll learn everything you need to position your brand to win over the competition.
On top of your internal pain points, you have to fight to grow faster than your rivals on the shelf, be ready to box out new brands trying to break into the category, and smartphone-wielding shoppers are choosier than ever.
Michael Porter established a model for competitive analysis known as Porter's Five Forces. You don't need to know all the details about his theory, but we’re going to use it to look at some of the problems you see every day and help you position your brand for success.
- The more intense the competition for profit, the more destructive it can be for you.
- Find ways to compete on dimensions other than price, such as features, brand image and company values.
- EXAMPLE: Health Ade Kombucha made their messaging, branding, and even their bottle design completely different than the category leader.
Threat of New Entrants
- Don’t get too distracted that you ignore new companies in your category.
- Use your established customer base, manufacturing capabilities and distribution channels that will help you to occupy new spaces first.
- EXAMPLE: Do a competitor audit on emerging brands to reveal how they’re trying to differentiate themselves. Deliver their best flavor or feature first before they can grow enough to threaten you.
Retailers And Customers
- Diversity means buyers have a lot of influence over pricing and can be very sticker sensitive.
- Differentiate your brand from competitors and promote brand loyalty. If your product becomes irreplaceable, you minimize price’s effect on your consumers' purchasing decisions.
- EXAMPLE: If you’re the only one that makes your product, retailers will have no choice but to buy it if customers demand it. Just be sure not to get too niche.
- Rather than fighting over the existing space, look for new and emerging areas and be the first to occupy them. This will establish you as an industry leader.
- Your internal pain points need attention, but don’t get stuck in your bubble; always keep a pulse on your industry and do competitive analyses and competitor audits often.
- Analysis shapes strategy. Your strategy will be narrow if your analysis is too narrow.
- Find the new and weak spots in your industry and go after them!
Had enough on your competitive landscape and want more tools to combat your competition directly? We have you covered with this retail competitive analysis toolkit.
Work hard AND smart. Doing competitive landscape analyses makes you stand out as a manager and leader, and your brand will be better for it. Download the worksheet below to start compiling the information you need to win in your category.
Sarah is a Content Marketing Journalist at Repsly. With a background in broadcast journalism, advertising and as a brand ambassador, Sarah is always looking for ways to connect with readers through concise, visual and interesting content. On the weekends you'll find her hitting a trail or at a live show.