By Fran Johnson
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Thinking about your competition

As a company, you don’t always need to stand out from your competition in an obvious way. However, you do need to understand where you are positioned within the market so that you can make decisions around your priorities.

In his Alpha talk at the Royal Albert Hall, Simon Sinek spoke about visiting both the Microsoft and Apple education submits. He stated that at the Microsoft submit 70–80% of the executives spent most of their time talking about how to beat apple. Apple on the other hand never mentioned Microsoft. Be aware of your competitors, but don’t be driven by them!

It’s totally okay to study your competition tactically, but so many organisations study their competition strategically. Because their competition makes a sharp turn to the left, they make a sharp turn to the left. Which means they have no sense of purpose or cause.

Simon Sinek

Look at your brand values – are their any other brands that are occupying the same space that you are? Do your research. Find companies who you admire, that are driving their businesses forward in ways that you respect. It maybe wise to avoid copying their business strategy but instead try mapping their brands against your brand values. Mapping out your competition from a brand perspective is different than from a business perspective – you don’t need to be focusing on product reach, but instead on how the brands communicate their values and purpose.

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Looking at the communication output (leaflets, brochures, social media) of all your competitors and working out which outputs align with your brand values – identifying the visual languages that work, and the mistakes made.

There is something very good to be said about surrounding yourself with your competitors — it drives the industry as a whole forward, encourages collaboration and often your competitors can be very lovely people!

Purpose: Working out the WHY?

Successful brands are are build when the business case for purpose is established - understanding of the core reason your business exists is the first step towards getting a brand that actually works.

Fran Johnson - 17/03/2017
Future: Mapping out the route

Brand strategy needs to look into the future. Understanding the next 10 years of where you want to take your company, and the general landscape of branding and how audiences understand brand.

Fran Johnson - 02/07/2017
Brand Values: What’s at the core?

What are your brand values? An important step into establishing a brand strategy is to select a number of words that you can measure decisions against.

Fran Johnson - 20/03/2017
Audience: Define, prioritise, profile, target

Understanding of your current and future audience types mean the foundations of a brand can be built. How to define, profile and target them?

Fran Johnson - 30/06/2017
Visuals: Bridging the words and the pictures

Often, talking about branding is the easy bit - everyone is on the same page. Then, the visuals appear and everyone has different opinions. This blog post is around ensuring all stakeholders involved have an understanding of the visuals, tone and style.

Fran Johnson - 15/08/2017
Thinking about your competition

Where is your company positioned within the market? Does your brand stand out from your competition, or fit into the status quo?

Fran Johnson - 16/08/2017