Learn Your Competitors About Change

As we’ve already discussed in other posts, change happens to all businesses, irrespective of markets, the industry in which they operate and other environmental factors. And while it’s unwise to get too caught up in what you’re competitors are doing, there’s a lot they can teach you about change. Often though, it’s as much about what they don’t do as what they do.

  1. How they deal with change. How your competitors deal with change can be very illuminating. Notice how changes in the industry or consumer trends impact on their strategy. See what lessons can be adapted to your own.
  2. How thy don’t deal with change. Failure on the part of your competitors to deal with change can give rise to opportunities of which your company can take advantage.
  3. How they change in response to their environment.  Presumably as a direct competitor, you are impacted by the same changes. Watching their reactions can provide insight into how your company shouldn’t or shouldn’t react.
  4. How they market themselves.  Marketing can be a key source of competitive advantage, and also a powerful change agent for brands. Watching for marketing successes or failures in your competitors can teach valuable lessons.
  5. How their customers change. Observing if and how competitors lose customers can provide opportunities to push your own unique competitive advantage. Conversely competitors’ gain in particular clients, customers or market segments may reveal opportunities in market segments that they ‘re not targeting.
  6. How they change from success to failure  and vice versa.  No matter how fierce competition is within your industry or sector, it is never pleasant to see competitors fail, so while you shouldn’t revel in their failure, you should learn from how and why they failed and avoid making the same mistakes. In the same way their success can also provide lessons from which to learn.
  7. How they adopt technology. The way in which technology is helping businesses grow, adapt and provide new opportunities is breathtaking. Whether it’s marketing, manufacturing, customer service or finance, technology has the power to revolutionise many businesses. If your competitors have adopted technology, see how this can help your business grow and adapt.
  8. How they are innovating. Innovation in business is critical in the current environment if businesses are to grow and adapt.  Innovation is not just about technology adoption but could be about new pricing or product/ device models, new ways of service delivery, or even how they manage their staff.

There are many things competitors can teach us about change – and it is as much about what works as what doesn’t.

What have you learnt from your competitors?