How often do you check up on your competitor’s brand mentions and sentiment? What do you look for?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
I check up on the competition once or twice a month depending on what I hear from others. I believe every minute you spend checking out the competition is another minute they are out there trying to beat you at your own game. So the less time you worry about your competition and the more time you worry about having a great product/service, the better off your company will be.
My focus is moving forward. I like checking up on my competition quarterly. For me, anything more than that can derail your focus and current efforts. I try not to spend too much time looking in the rearview mirror.
Our company has a very seasonal pattern to its business, and the beginning of the year usually sets the tone for the pricing and discounting the competition tends to release. We try to make a move at the end of the year, and we don’t give in to discounting because our brand and service is already considered the leader in our industry.
We’ve outlined our five largest competitors and monitor their updates on a bi-weekly basis. We visit their websites and social media channels to see what new products, promotional discounts and additional services they may be offering. Through utilizing this data, we’ve been able to make many adjustments to our business with the goal of making our customer experience the best in the industry.
Every other weekend I’ll catch up doing an industry analysis. I want to see what my competitors are doing and when they’re doing it. I’m always looking to learn what works for them and also spot their mistakes. Specifically, I like reading reviews about their product/service to see what people like or don’t like about it.
Monitoring Twitter for terms such as “I hate [competitor name]” or “[Competitor name] sucks” is a great way to identify people who are unhappy with their products and services. If you’re monitoring these terms, you could potentially convert the customers of your competitors into customers of your own.
We set up a weekly tracking system to measure the PR mentions, PR articles, blog posts, case studies and more from our top competitors. We want to track how we’re stacking up. We’ve created a process where we’re able to outsource this data collection for less than the price of a latte.
Instead of thinking about competitors on a certain timely basis, we set up Google Alerts so we’re immediately notified of any competitors’ milestones or significant business updates. This is one of the most effective ways to track the competitive ecosystem on an ongoing basis so your business remains agile, too.