Putting yourself in your Competitor's shoes

Too many businesses are inward looking. Focusing on their business and their products, that they lose sight of what their competitors are up to. Yes, they might look at competitor price or share data, but what does this really tell you? In reality, not a lot. Which is why we, at Pure Blue Ocean, challenge our customers to think beyond the stats.

As part of our services, we have recently created a new Strategic Gaming Programme, which we successfully launched with one of our customers in the snacking industry this month. We challenged 300 delegates to think differently at their recent Customer and Marketing Team Conference, putting themselves in the shoes of their competitors.

We created four breakout rooms – each room was a different competitor. As the team walked into the room, they were immersed in the competitors brands, strategy, branding and were presented to by the CEO of the competitor, as if they were the employees. The CEO provided updates on the strategy and performance. The team were then challenged to conduct a SWOT analysis, again as if they are the competitor organisation. This challenged the team to consider the internal and external environment, and what their competitors strengths were, and their weaknesses, based on the information provided and a recently conducted trade visits.

Based on the findings of the SWOT, the teams were then tasked to pitch to ‘a customer’ to sell in why they should work with them for mutual benefit. This exercise really highlighted how their competitors might interact with customers and what levers they might use to build commercial relationships. Thinking like the competition provides a perspective that may not have been considered. Which brought us to our last exercise:

We asked the teams to put their own company hat back on, and based on the knowledge and understanding built from the previous exercises, what do they need to do in order to beat the competition. What brands do they need to exploit or defend? What strategies or transformational growth ideas can they develop to ensure they keep the competition at bay? We wanted big ideas, and we got them. All the teams generated some stand out ideas that were different to the standard operational approach. (Sadly, we can’t share them as they are confidential!) But the teams really did break convention and had transformational ideas.

This was achieved as we took the team out of their comfort zone and challenged them to think like their competitors. Looking through a different lens, really does provide a perspective that you wouldn’t ordinarily see and makes you think differently and strategically.

If you want to know more about our Strategic Gaming Programme, contact us:
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