As a research firm that focuses on market research, polls, surveys, among others, we hope to bring insights to you through today’s article on how market research helps you to know your competition in business which in turn helps your business stay relevant in the market.
A live example
To help us get deep into why it is important to know your competitor, we will first make reference to a live example of such an issue. To do so, let’s take a look at the rivalry between Coke and PepsiCo especially in the American market as per publicly available data. In the 1980s, Coke began to lose a significant market share to Pepsi which had a sweeter taste. In a bid to win some consumers back, Coke decided to introduce a sweeter variation – ‘New Coke’. The result? New Coke flopped, while Pepsi enjoyed increasing sales. Coke tried to copy Pepsi’s recipe and failed at it. The lesson here – know your competitive advantage and capitalise on it.
Competition is stiff
The business world is a jungle where only the fittest and most agile stay afloat and realise unparalleled growth. In most industries, there are so many players competing for the same customers and hence the need for a business to distinguish itself from the rest. One of the ways of ensuring that a business remains relevant is to find out what its competition is doing or planning. Such information can help the business to introduce new products, change the way things are done or to come up with new ways of doing things.
If a competitor is doing well or even better than you, there is nothing wrong in finding out how they are doing it and learn from that. The idea is not to copy and paste other people’s strategies into your business. Market research utilises tools like the SWOT analysis to help you know your strengths which give you a competitive edge over your competitors, establish weaknesses that need to be turned into strengths.
Embark on market research
Now, here is the beauty of market research. After Coke went into the market and listened to the consumers, they apologised and gradually phased out ‘New Coke’, bringing back the original taste – ‘Coca-Cola Classic’. Up to today, in the soda industry, Coca-Cola has the highest market share with Diet Coke and Pepsi vying for second place. We can all agree that the marketing and advertising team at Coke went to work to bring the brand back to its top position.
A business that is aware of its competition, is always finding ways to re-invent, re-package or re-position its products and services in the market. In an article by Food Navigator.com, PepsiCo is reported to have announced its ‘ambition to cut the sugar in its drink brands and shift its snacks portfolio towards healthier options…’ The company is set out to reduce its sugar content by about 25 percent by 2025 and up to 50 percent by 2030, says the article. This is after recognising a shift in the market where consumers are opting for healthier alternatives with less sugar.
On the other hand, Coke also introduced a new product, Coca Cola Zero, which has no sugar but with an optimised flavour to cater for consumers who are loyal to Coke but not to the sugar content. We believe this article enlightens you on the need to constantly study your market in order to maintain your market share in spite of stiff competition. Market research specialists like ourselves are ready to server you.
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