When it comes to marketing, one of the most important things to understand about your larger brand strategy is that it must be informed not by what you think your audience wants, but by what has been proven to serve their needs. Researching existing leaders in your industry is a great way to gain insight into what has been demonstrated to work for your competitors without exhausting your marketing budget on testing to reach the same conclusions. This can help you to understand not only the current status of your own brand strategy but also what direction it should take in the future.
How to Start
Thanks to the power of social media and the prevalence of company websites, virtually anyone can begin researching industry leaders online in a matter of minutes. Try to put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes. Start with a Google search and ask yourself what your customer would search for to find a company that offers your services. The top results are most likely the companies that have done the marketing work to be presented first and those you should look to for inspiration.
As you research industry leaders, make an effort to understand what their unique selling point is in terms of why they have an audience in the first place. What information are they conveying that people feel like they can’t find anywhere else? What do they do that is different and how did they ascend to this position in the first place? The answers to these questions are ones that you can learn from and apply to your own efforts, too.
What to Compare
Pay attention to how people perceive the brand of your industry leaders. Is one particular leader associated with a perception of luxury? If so, how do they convey that? What language do they use in communications and what types of content are they creating to put on their social channels? If you want to be seen as a luxury brand as well, these are absolutely the types of things that you need to be paying attention to. Also, make note of the tone used in your industry leaders’ marketing communications, what call to actions they employ, and what kind of promotions they are running. Even pricing decisions like whether or not to offer free shipping can be a point of comparison.
Keep in Mind
One of the most pivotal best practices to follow is that you cannot begin your research of your industry leaders with general assumptions. It would be a mistake to bring your own views into the situation because it’s only going to cloud your judgment. Try to come at your research with no preconceived notions about what may or may not be true, as that is when you’ll begin to discover the calculated, actionable insight that will serve you well as you develop your own brand strategy.
If you’d like to find out more information about how to properly research your industry leaders to guide your larger brand strategy, or if you would like to work with a web design company that employs this practice to guide your marketing goals, contact CleverLight today.