Psychological methods for analyzing competitors
Competition is a struggle for a limited volume of effective consumer demand, carried out by firms in the market segments available to them.
Market analysis as a necessary element includes analysis of the competitive environment. Without this, it is impossible to competently build the strategy of your own organization.
When analyzing competitors, SWOT analysis is used - analysis of strengths and weaknesses of the company, as well as opportunities and threats emanating from its immediate environment (external environment).
Let's consider the basic stages of carrying out SWOT-analysis.
1. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the organization. To do this:
• make a list of parameters by which the organization will be evaluated;
• For each parameter, determine what is the strength and what is weak;
• from the list, choose the most important strengths and weaknesses of the organization and enter them into the SWOT analysis matrix (Figure 6.1).
2. Identify market opportunities and threats. This stage will allow you to assess the situation outside your enterprise and understand what opportunities are available, and what threats should be feared (and, therefore, in advance to prepare for them).
The methodology for determining market opportunities and threats is almost identical to the method of determining the strengths and weaknesses of the organization.
3. Comparison of the strengths and weaknesses of the organization with the opportunities and threats of the market. This stage will answer the following questions related to further business development:
• How can I take advantage of emerging opportunities, using the strengths of the enterprise?
• What are the weak points of an enterprise that can prevent me from doing this?
• What are the strengths that can be used to neutralize existing threats?
• What threats, exacerbated by the weaknesses of the enterprise, do I need to be more afraid?
Fig. 6.1. SWOT Analysis Matrix
The observation is also a common method used in the analysis of a competitive environment.
• the actions of consumers - the process of selecting and buying goods, the process of consumption, the use of the goods, their utilization, the routes of movement;
• the actions of the staff - the process of customer service, actions when performing work operations, travel routes;
• Organizations - used premises and equipment, warehouse stocks (product categories and volumes)
• material objects - household supplies, brands of purchased goods, garbage and industrial waste, bar codes of goods sold
• physical reactions and consumer processes - eye movement, pupil diameter, galvanic reaction, voice timbre, response delay;
• physical reactions and processes of material objects - tuning channels for television and radio equipment, duration of channel switching, operation of equipment, devices.
One common observation technique in marketing is "mystery shopping", or a mysterious buyer. The essence of the method is to simulate the process of buying or choosing a product by the so-called "mysterious buyer" - the researcher who behaves in the outlet in accordance with a pre-planned scheme. After communicating with the seller, the researcher records the results in a special form. In some cases, the process of selecting the goods for the hidden recorder is also used.
Mystery shopping allows you to collect the necessary information secretly, eliminating the most powerful factor in influencing the behavior of the seller - his awareness of the research.
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