How do they plan to compete with you the future?

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octopus intelligence blog

With a new year around the corner, it is a time when some reassessment of your position could be in order.

If competitors are consistently beating you, how much revenue have you lost?

How much has easily avoided strategic and tactical mistakes cost your company over the past 12-24 months?

If you could step around those mistakes and shut out your competition, what would that be worth?

Get to know your competitors and disruptors very well.

These questions may offer some direction:

• How do they plan to compete with you the future and how committed are they to achieving their declared strategic objectives? Are they capable of doing what they want to do?

• How does their management team think and act? Can they become disruptors or are they tired and reactive?

• What is their vision? What do they tell the press or their people about their plans?

• Do their objectives get in the way of your company?

• What options are open to you for dealing with an ever changing competitive environment, an emergence of new “more powerful” rival or the transform of technology?

• Where do they compete with you? In what segment and which clients and how do they differentiate themselves and their offerings?

• What makes your competitors the choice of some of your customers?

• What, in the eyes of your customers, differentiates “them” from “you”?

• What do their financials look like? How do your competitors make money and profits?

• Do they make their profits from having created better products and services?

• How much cash do they have?

• Can they react to impacts that you might make in the marketplace?

• How much funding have they raised to date? When was it raised? Why and have they used it well?

• What are their future intentions? Not an easy question to answer, but it should be one of the most important questions that you try to answer.

• Could they be acquired or are they looking to buy?

• What could they do to achieve growth?

• In the next three years, which segments will your competitors be targeting?

Risk from new disruptive competitors

By | Competitive Intelligence, Disprution | No Comments


It is very common to get caught out thinking you have the best products and your competitors are not a good as you.

It used to be the case that companies could see disruptive innovation within their industry.

As long they were looking out for it (which was not always the case) they had the skills and strategies to migrate the risk associated with that competitor who brought out their new shiny product.

Historically companies took some notice of new competitors entering their market.

These competitors started off agiler than them and gained market share by offering cheaper alternative products. 

These products would then improve, and they would also move into the higher end market.

There was always plenty of time for you to take action as the disruptive competitors took some time to gain market share.

Disruptors are here

New entrants to your market can now fire disruptive, innovative products into your customers using instant communication, cloud computing, mobile applications and Machine Learning. 

These technological developments have brought a new risk – speed.

The traditional company would always have time on their side, but with technological advances new entrants means they can become a major success (and pain in the neck) overnight.

With Machine Learning and powerful supporting innovative networks time is going to become even more critical when evaluating risk.

Your current competitors next week could be gone with new ones replacing them from other industries.

Machine Learning means it that it is will be even harder to see that freight train coming down the track, because the tracks don’t even exist anymore.

It is time to rethink competitive risk and understand this disruptive world.

Don’t make it easy for competitors to enter your markets.

Time is not on the disruptors side either.

They may be able to offer innovative and cheaper alternatives, but it is possible that they will need to make a profit fast before their money runs out.

Collaborate with your traditional “friendly” competitors to make it harder for disruptors.

Get to know the signs of market disruptions. Who is playing with what ideas?

Get to know visionaries in your industry and keep speaking to your customers.

Innovations coming into the market may make some of your traditional offerings and assets worthless.

Review what you are selling and which of your assets are still useful and relevant.

Think about which brand names and patents could be used to fight the disruptors and determine what potential disruptors could look like.

Above all, if you don’t have a Competitive Intelligence strategy monitoring your current business environment, what chances do you have of seeing disruptors?

As well as embracing it, companies who are going to survive the rise of Machine Learning need understand why they win or lose business and where their strengths and weaknesses are.

It is not just the hard facts like their competitor’s  ROI, cost of manufacture, revenue, profit etc.

Know your current and future competitors and the products/services they sell, why their customers like them and how they do things to get their product/service to their customer.