3 Strategic Ways to Use Your Competitors’ Missteps to Your Advantage

Being a business owner comes with a multitude of benefits, ranging from increased flexibility and complete freedom in the decision-making process to achieving that much-wanted sense of self-fulfillment and creative realization. However, it also brings significant challenges, primarily if your business operates in a highly saturated market.

One of the most formidable and inevitable difficulties business owners face on their way to profitability and success is making their businesses stand out from the fierce competition. Supposedly, the surefire strategy here is to determine your distinctive features and put all your efforts into promoting them to your target audience.

Nevertheless, you can also approach it from a different angle — using your direct competitors’ slip-ups to your advantage.

Competitors' missteps

For instance, using tools for e-commerce competition monitoring allows you to keep track of the prices within competition and current promotions and adjust your pricing strategy accordingly. At the same time, delving into your competitors’ communication methods helps identify their weak spots and improve your press releases.

Without further ado, here is how to capitalize on the mistakes your competitors make and gain a competitive advantage in the market:


Analyze Competitor Behavior

Only by having a clear understanding of how your direct competitors operate and what makes them successful (or not) can you develop an effective marketing strategy for your own business. To do so, you have to monitor and analyze your competitors’ behavior and tactics.

There are a number of ways you can go about this. First, you can research their website (especially when it comes to competitive product pages), subscribe to their newsletters, and have an eye on their communication on social media platforms.

Doing this will help you stay in the loop about their latest news and announcements, as well as get a better idea about their communication style and overall brand identity.

For instance, it would not hurt to set up Google Alerts for your competitors. This way, you will be immediately notified whenever they are mentioned online, whether in the press, on social media, or other websites.

Furthermore, using competitive intelligence tools and various market research techniques (such as understanding market shares, determining marketing and pricing strategies, and measuring customer sentiment) is a treasure-trove of invaluable insights into their target audience, marketing mix, promotional campaigns, etc.

Investing in such tools gives you a more comprehensive overview of the competition and can help you make more informed business decisions. For this reason, competitor behavior analysis should be an ongoing process in your organization.


Leverage Their Negative Reviews

In this age of social media and online shopping, it has become easier than ever for customers to share their feedback about purchases they make — and they often do so without any filter. As a result, negative reviews and customer complaints are now a common occurrence.

Of course, no business owner wants their company to be associated with poor service or subpar products. Still, instead of ignoring other businesses’ problems pinpointed in such reviews, you can use them to your advantage.

Competitors missteps

For example, if you notice that one of your competitors regularly gets negative reviews for a specific issue, you can use this information to improve your offering. This way, you can show them they will not have to deal with the same problem when they come to you.

And just like that, you can turn your competitor’s weakness into your strength.

Moreover, you may also use negative reviews as a way to build trust and credibility with your prospective customers. For instance, if a rival business is getting bad reviews for not being responsive to customer queries and complaints, you can use this opportunity to show your target audience how proactive you are when it comes to responding to their questions and concerns.

This way, you will not only differentiate yourself from the competition but also boost your customer experience, making your business look more trustworthy.


Bet on Your Values, Not Their Failures

No business is perfect, and sooner or later, every company will make a mistake. It is simply inevitable. The key is not to dwell on your competitors’ failures but to focus on promoting your values and strengths.

Suppose a rival company is being accused of unethical business practices. In that case, instead of trying to take advantage of their situation, you can use this opportunity to switch the focus to your organization’s ethical values and code of conduct.

Thanks to it, you will distance yourself from the competition and make a positive statement about your organization.

Moreover, you can use this opportunity to show your target audience what makes you the better choice. For instance, if a competitor is getting bad press for using low-quality ingredients in their products, you can use this chance to talk about your commitment to using only the highest quality ingredients.

By focusing on your values instead of blatantly feasting at someone’s expense, you will not just avoid coming across as a cheap opportunist but also establish yourself as a company with strong moral principles — something that is becoming increasingly important to consumers these days.


Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, competition is fierce, no matter what industry you are in. Nonetheless, it does not mean you should give up on your dream of making your business successful. On the contrary, you should use every opportunity to differentiate yourself from the competition.

Instead of trying to beat the competition at their own game, you can use their missteps to your advantage. Using competitor intelligence tools and techniques to analyze your direct competitors’ behavior, making the most out of their negative reviews, and focusing on promoting your values will allow you to gain a competitive edge on the market and increase your chances of success. Good luck!


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