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.