As a property owner or manager, the first thing you should do when starting a branding or rebranding project is perform a competitive analysis to measure your property’s value against comparable properties in your market and area. This will allow you to truly identify your property’s unique value against competitors.
A thorough competitive analysis requires researching the top five competitors in your market in depth to discover their strengths and weaknesses, as well as any opportunities for or threats to the competitiveness of your own property. G5 regularly performs competitive analyses for our clients in order to give them a clear picture of how to position their property in the market, especially as they develop a new brand or undergo a rebrand.
Defining Your Unique Value Proposition
A competitive analysis isn’t just a fun exercise to be taken lightly or skipped over (although it can be fun!). It’s the best, and perhaps the only way for you to discover your property’s unique value proposition (UVP). Your UVP informs your potential customers what value your property offers, how you can uniquely meet their needs, and what sets you apart from the crowd. It’s impossible to identify your property’s UVP unless you know how it fits into the marketplace.
Taking a close look at your competition -- including imagery used on their website, how they message to their target demographic, and amenities and property features offered and promoted -- will give you crucial insight into how your property measures up to others around it.
In order to thoroughly and thoughtfully analyze your competitor research, it is important to organize your findings. You should examine your competitors in four main areas: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This is called a SWOT analysis, and it serves as the backbone of the entire competitive analysis.
First, look at your competitors’ strengths. In which areas do they excel? What do they offer that your other competitors do not? This step will help you understand your competitors’ advantages, so you can establish your property’s “ownable position,” your unique value that you know nobody else can promote or adopt.
Next you should evaluate and capitalize on your competitors’ weaknesses. You’ve seen what other properties in your area offer. Where are your competitors falling behind? Which areas of weakness can you hone in on to provide a better experience and value for your target audience?
Then, look toward the future. What opportunities does your property have to become a leader in the marketplace? Given the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, what opportunities have you identified to provide an exceptional experience for your customers? What are the most efficient ways to hone in on your target audience? This portion of the SWOT analysis should transform into a to-do list for your company.
Lastly, examine any threats to your business that could diminish its position in the market. Are other properties offering services you do not or cannot offer? What are your competitors biggest strengths, and how is your property responding?
The Value of Insights
In performing a competitive analysis and SWOT analysis, you will be uncovering insights that will provide the foundation for your digital marketing strategy. Without the basic knowledge that comes from these analyses, you won’t have the tools to know how to strategically position or grow your business. It would be like trying to run a marathon without a route, any training, or even shoes.
Already completed your SWOT? Now it’s time to turn your competitive advantage into a marketing strategy. See our 7 steps to build an integrated marketing strategy in the Integrated Marketing Checklist