Let’s begin with a question: Who are your competitors? Take a minute to list two, three, or four companies. Then ask yourself how you know that these are your closest rivals. Are they the companies that most often pitch for business alongside your company? Do their brands sit beside yours on the shelf? Are they coming up close to your brand in search-page rank? Do they compete with you for resources and employees? Do they vie with you for the consumer’s dollar?
If a company or brand is truly your competitor, you should have answered yes to at least some of these questions. But ultimately, only one condition really determines a rival: whether your target customers include it among the brands they consider in relation to yours.
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