Do you know what your competitors offer?
I am currently mentoring nearly 30 design studios across the country. One of the first questions I ask them is; ‘Who are your competitors?’
Many are amazed at what they can learn form answering this question.
Knowing who your competitors are, and what they offer, can help you define your competitive advantage. It will help you set your prices competitively and help you to respond to rival marketing campaigns with your own initiatives.
You can use this knowledge to create marketing strategies that take advantage of your competitors' weaknesses, and improve your own business performance. You can also assess any threats posed by both new entrants to your market and current competitors. This knowledge will help you to be realistic about how successful you can be.
Who are your competitors?
All businesses face competition. Even if you're the only studio in your area (highly unlikely as there are over 9,000 studios in Australia) you must compete with newspapers, consultants and other businesses where your clients will spend their marketing dollar instead of with you.
With increased cloud sourcing you are no longer just competing with your local studios. In fact you could find yourself competing with designers from other countries.
Your competitor could be a new business offering a substitute or similar product that makes your offer redundant. For example many digital agencies pitch branding and design for print as part of their offerings.
And don't just research what's already out there. You also need to be constantly on the lookout for possible competition from disruptive services such as management and PR firms that offer design (Deloitte, PWC and Accenture have some of Australia’s largest design studios).
The one source of knowledge about your competitors is the DMzine survey. Take part in the survey and you will get all the facts and figures on your competitive place in the industry.
Take the survey now and get a copy of the Design Business Council competitor analysis sheet. This gives you a format to research and record your competitors' strengths and weaknesses. The survey results will be avilable in February. Take the survey and you will be sent a copy of the analysis sheet.