12 Ways Your Creative Business Can Beat Your Competition

Are you trying to find a way to compete with other creative businesses? Get ahead of your competition with these tips for selling your arts and crafts.

12 min read

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Table of Contents

Many brands launch their business with a basic idea of how they'll compete and succeed. But many creative businesses fail to do the research required to understand exactly how their competitors are operating and what separates them from each other.

If you are starting a new creative business or just want more business, here are some ways to research your competition and target your competitors' customers.

What is Competitive Analysis?

When you have a creative business and depend on online sales, you need to complete a competitive analysis to become sucessful
Photo by rawpixel from Burst

Competitive analysis is an essential part of any strategic planning process.

Competitive analysis is defined as the examination of the strengths and weaknesses of your business relative to your competitors. It helps you understand where you stand relative to your competition and how your business measures up. By performing a competitive analysis, you can improve your creative business and stay ahead of the competition.

There are three main types of competitive analysis-internal, external and perceptual.

Internal Competitive Analysis

Internal competitive analysis is when you study your own strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition. This type of analysis can help you understand where your business stands and identify areas for improvement.

External Competitive Analysis

External competitive analysis is when you study the competition's strengths and weaknesses relative to your own. External competitive analysis can help you benchmark yourself against the competition, uncover opportunities and threats before they materialize, and prioritize your product roadmap with the right information.

Perceptual Competitive Analysis

Perceptual competitive analysis is when you study how customers view your competition relative to each other. By performing perceptual competitive analysis, you can understand how customers view your competition relative to each other, and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly.

Each type of competitive analysis has its own benefits, which is why you must conduct all three types when conducting a competitive analysis. When you have a good understanding of your competition, you can develop a strategy that gives you an edge over the competition.

How to Conduct a Competitive Comparison on Your Competition

Taking customers from your competition requires competitive analysis so you can compare strengths and weaknesses
Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

There are a number of steps you can take to conduct an analysis of your competitors.

Define Your Market and Competitors

The first step in any competitive analysis is to define your market and competitors. This includes understanding who your ideal customer is, what needs and wants they have, and what your competition is offering them.

Analyze Your Competitors' Products and Services

Once you've defined your market and competitors, it's time to analyze their products and services. This includes understanding how they're priced, what features and benefits they offer, and how they're positioning themselves in the market.

Analyze Your Competitors' Marketing and Advertising Strategies

Before you run out and spend thousands of dollars on a marketing campaign, you need to know whether or not it will actually work. To make sure your marketing is heading in the right direction, research what your competitors are doing first. This includes understanding how they're targeting their customers, what channels they're using, and what messaging they're using.

Analyze Your Competitors' Financials

Once you've analyzed your competitors' marketing and advertising strategies, it's time to analyze their financials. This includes understanding their revenue, profits, and market share.

Draw Conclusions

After analyzing your competitors by using the above steps, it's time to draw conclusions. This includes understanding what your competitors are doing well, where they're weak, and what opportunities and threats exist.

Best Practices for Outsmarting Your Competition

Best ways for creative online businesses to target competition with competitive analysis

Now that you understand how to perform a competitive analysis, it's time to explore some of the best ways your creative business can outsmart your competition.

1. Identify Your Competitors

Knowing your ideal customer and what their needs and wants are is critical when identifying your competitors. Once you know your target audience, you can easily identify your competitors by looking at businesses that are marketing to the same customers.

You can start your research by searching online for the products or services you are offering to your potential customers. For example, if you know your audience shops on Amazon, you can use their search bar to type in the product or service you offer. This will allow you to see what companies are selling the same or similar products.

You can also use social media to find your competitors. If you're selling a product that's popular on social media, you can use hashtags to find your competitors.

When you find a business that is selling products that are similar to what you offer, add them to your list of competitors. Take note of how they are advertising to your target audience. Pay attention to colors, fonts, and messaging they're using in their ads.

2. Watch Your Competitors Closely

It is necessary to watch your competitors closely. This will give you a clear understanding of what they're doing well, where they're weak, and what opportunities and threats exist. This information can help you develop a strategy to stay ahead of them.

When it comes to outsmarting your competition, understanding who they are, what they're doing, and how you can differentiate yourself from them is essential.

3. Understand Their Positioning

After identifying your competitors and you know what they are doing well and where you can find opportunities to compete, it is time to learn their positioning in the market. This includes understanding how they're pricing their products and services, what features and benefits they offer your potential customers.

Understanding your competitors' positioning, you will be able to develop a strategy to differentiate yourself from them. You can do this by emphasizing the unique features and benefits that your product or service offers, or by pricing your product or service lower than they do.

4. Monitor Their Marketing and Advertising Strategies

To stay ahead of the competition, it is necessary to determine what marketing and advertising strategies they are employing. This includes understanding what channels they're targeting, the type of content they're creating, what messaging they're using, the tone of voice they're using, as well as an estimate of their advertising expenses.

If you can understand what your competitors are doing, you can then develop a strategy to counteract their efforts. For example, if they're targeting your customers through social media, you can develop a paid advertising campaign to reach them as well. If you notice that your competition runs sales consistently, intermittently, or not at all, you can adjust your own marketing strategy accordingly.

5. Understand Their Financials

A competitor's financials can offer insight into the overall performance of their business, as well as the market as a whole. By understanding their financials, you can learn how much money they're making (or losing), where they're spending their money, and how they're performing compared to the industry average.

Knowing your competition's financials can be helpful when considering how to outperform them. For example, if you notice that your competition is losing money, you may want to consider introducing a new product or service to your business that will ensure you make a profit. If they are performing better than the industry average, you may want to focus on how you can improve your marketing and advertising efforts.

6. Watch Your Competitors' Website and Social Media Posts

In order to stay ahead of the competition, keep a close eye on your competitors' business websites and social media accounts. This includes monitoring any new blog posts, updates to their website, and changes to their social media strategy.

If you can keep track of your competition, you can then adapt your own marketing and advertising strategies as needed. For example, if your competitors start promoting a new product or service, you can develop a corresponding advertising campaign to promote your own products or services.

The same concept applies to running a sales campaign. If you determine when your competition run sales, you can try to start your sales a few days earlier or run your sales for a longer period of time.

7. Become an Expert

Do you have a niche for your creative business? If not, you should consider finding a niche where you can stand out among your competition. A niche business allows you to become an authority in your specialized area, which will allow you to be seen as an expert in your field.

When you become an expert, your target audience will not only appreciate your knowledge of your products, but they are more likely to trust your judgment. Plus, if you ever decide to expand your business into other areas, you will have a loyal following.

8. Find Your Hidden Markets

Finding hidden markets is not always easy, but you can increase your chances of success by looking for markets that your competition is not targeting. This can be done by researching different industries, demographics, and even psychographics.

Once you find a market that is not being targeted, you can then focus your efforts on reaching them. This may include developing marketing and advertising strategies specifically for that market, or even creating products and services that appeal to them.

9. Offer Great Customer Service

Customer service is the best way to outsmart your competition because you are in control of your customer's experience. When you offer great customer service, it makes your customers feel appreciated and valued. This will make them more likely to become return customers.

In addition, by providing great customer service, you can set yourself apart from the competition. This is because many businesses do not focus on customer service, which leaves an opportunity for you to stand out.

Some ways to ensure you are providing the best customer service is by having a great customer service policy, being responsive to customer inquiries, offering excellent products and services, as well as having an easy return and exchange policy.

10. Unique Ways to Advertise

You may want to reconsider your advertising strategy if you cannot differentiate your campaigns from those of your competition. Your target audience may mistakenly believe that they are purchasing from you when they are actually purchasing from your competitor.

One of the easiest ways to differentiate yourself from your competition is by highlighting what makes you unique. For example, if you're a company that offers a better price than your competitors, be sure to advertise this on your website and social media.

Finding a novel way to market your products, services, and brand can help you to standout from the competition. For example, you may want to consider creating a short video instead of a traditional image ad. This will help to grab the attention of your target audience and make them more likely to remember you.

Another way to stand out is by changing the colors and fonts you use in your ads. This will help to differentiate you from the competition and make you more memorable. You can also set yourself apart by highlighting your superior customer service or the quality of your products.

Another way to convert customers is by offering exclusive offers. You can either offer a lower price for a limited time, or you can give them a free product or service when they purchase from you. This will allow them to see that your product is better than your competition, resulting in repeat business.

You can also try using humor or shock value in your ads to get attention. Although you need to be careful when using these approaches, it may be just what you need to set you apart from the competition.

11. Consistent Advertising

Most creative companies do not think of advertising until their company's profits are declining. Sadly, without consistent marketing, it is difficult to maintain a sustainable business.

Advertising should be an ongoing effort, not something you do when you need to bring in new customers.

Running one ad will not attract all the customers you need to sustain your business. It takes time for customers to notice your advertising and to act upon your ads. That's why you need to have a consistent advertising strategy that will repeat your message over time.

The best way to be consistent in your advertising is to create different types of ads and use them in a variety of advertising channels. If you are only advertising on Instagram, expanding your ads to other social media platforms can help.

Running the same ad across all your social media platforms may also cause you to miss out on business. If you are running the same campaign, consider testing out different ads to see which ones perform better on certain platforms. By making a few changes, you can reach your target audience with your marketing campaign.

Remember, in order to create a successful advertising campaign, try to understand your target audience and create ads that appeal to them through multiple platforms. Your audience can change depending on the social media platform, so you should test different advertisements to see which ones are the most effective.

Want to know more about advertising? Check out this post on effective sales promotion campaigns.

12. Monitor Your Progress and Make Necessary Adjustments

Performing a competitive analysis is worthless unless you monitor your progress and make adjustments. This means that you need to track your progress and see how you are doing in relation to your competition.

If you find that you are losing customers to your competition, then you need to make changes to your business. This could mean changing your prices, improving your customer service, or developing new products and services. It could also mean that your marketing strategy is not working and you need to retest your advertising to find a more effective approach.

No matter what, you should never stop monitoring your progress. The best way to monitor your progress is by setting goals and tracking your progress against those goals. This will help you to identify what you are doing well and what areas need improvement.

It's Time to Beat Your Competition!

Competing with other creative businesses is never easy, but you can find ways to outsmart your competition through research and hard work. In order to outsmart your competition, you need to know what they are doing, what is working for them, and how you can improve upon their strategies.

Once you understand your competition, look to your own business to find ways to stand out by creating a niche business that will allow you to become an expert. It is also important to offer great customer service and conduct numerous and consistent marketing campaigns.

You should also monitor your progress to ensure that you are making the necessary adjustments. By identifying your weaknesses, you will ensure that your business is constantly improving so you can continue to maintain profits.

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