Competition and Customers

If you start your business without doing research on the market potential of your products or services and the strategies you are going to adopt for marketing your products, you are heading for failure. This market research should not be limited to finding out the market potential alone but it should cover the prevailing competition. The strengths and weaknesses of the competitors should be thoroughly studied and this will give you enough inputs to evolve your own strategy.
Customers have many sources to choose from and hence only if you are unique in your own way and have an edge over your competitors, you can win over the customers. Competition comes not only from manufacturers and dealers of the same products but from those who have equivalent products.
Competitors may be following a particular strategy to market their products. Therefore you should study their strategy, how they impress their customers, their pricing patterns, support services, if any, offered by them to the customers, etc. Having as much information as possible about the competitors will help you in formulating your strategies. Their advertisement and promotional techniques should also be researched.
If you can gather all these information, you can devise a suitable strategy to beat them. But the strategy should be customer-centered in the sense that planning and implementation of the strategy should be unique and you are poised to wage your battle against the legacy of age-old techniques. Age-old techniques suffered from many ills because competition was very much less and monopoly prevailed predominantly. The present situation demands that your strategy is not a usual run-of-the mill one but it responds to the needs and aspirations of the fully aware customers.
Doing business is not merely about transferring products and services to customers. It is about creating durable relationship with the customers that will ultimately lead to their turning into loyal customers. Your strategy can be called really powerful only if it helps build such a relationship with customers.
You should also have a monitoring system by which you instantly notice the changes in trends, changes in market conditions and requirements of the customers so that your strategy remains demand-driven and pro-customer always. You should understand that customers are 'vibrant partners' of your business and if you place emphasis on having customer-centered strategies, you can realize the true potential of your business.

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