Keys to Successful Product Development #9: How to Snag Your Competitors’ Customers

In our blog #7  we talked about the importance of understanding your current customer.  We referred to Consumer Profile Studies as the best mechanism to identify the motivations, demographics and  psychographics of your current franchise.  Having this information is a critical step to improved understanding of your business -- leading to better informed decisions.  

But what about your competitor’s customers?  Also known as everyone you don’t sell to.  Who are they?  What are their needs?   What is your current market share?  (If you don’t know we suggest you visit our HomeStats™ Reports to learn more about identifying and tracking your market share.)  Is it 5%?  10%  50%?  Even if you have 50% of the market, that still means that you are not winning half of all the consumers for your product category.  Want to grow your business?  Figure out who those people you are not getting are and what makes them tick.

The category equivalent of a Consumer Profile Study is often called an Attitude, Awareness and Usage Study.  An AA&U is typically based on surveying consumers in order to find recent category purchasers.  Such studies offer the advantage of looking at ALL consumers for the entire category.  You might, for example, participate in the entire category or perhaps your current franchise, by virtue of your pricing, reaches only the top half of the category.  You can easily learn about the bottom half – those who purchase at lower prices – by identifying them via their recent purchases at that price level.  

Then ask them everything you would ask in a Consumer Profile Study:

o    Detailed description of last purchase including:

  • Brand purchased
  • Amount spent
  • Where shopped
  • Where purchased
  • Reason for purchase
  • Planned versus impulse purchase
  • Influences on purchase (people, printed/online resources, etc.)


o    Category Brand Awareness

  • Unaided
  • Aided


o    Competitive Brand Equity

  • Perceptions of brands in category
  • Price/Value positioning
  • Quality Positioning


o    Category Usage

  • Number of products owned
  • When and why used


o    Category Attitudes

  • Attributes statements relating to how products fit lifestyle and needs


Think about having all this information relating not only to your products but to your competitors’ products as well.  Call us today to learn more about such valuable research for your categories.