Checking out the competition
Competitor research can be very helpful in making decisions on your own position in the marketplace, what type of work you will offer, at what price, how and where you promote yourself and much more.
So if you haven’t already, conduct a competitor analysis by following these simple steps:
Make a list of direct competitors considering designer-makers who:
- Produce similar work (aesthetically, use of materials, process) or offer a similar level of service
- Are at a similar stage in their career as you / have the same level of experience as you / level of profile as you
- Are aiming at the same market / audience as you are
Make a list of at least two indirect competitors that offer an alternative or substitute product or service to you.
Conduct desk research using magazines, journals and online resources to gather information on points such as product range, pricing, promotional tools etc. Back this up with visits to galleries, high street retailers and department stores.
In both cases, consider the following:
- What products or services to they offer? Different ranges? Bespoke commissions? Personalised services?
- In terms of pricing, what are the minimum and maximum prices and are they different for different ranges of work?
- Do they employ any price related sales strategies?
- How do they market and promote themselves?
- What channels do they use to sell they work? Which stockists/agents? Which shows? Do they sell online and if so through their own shop or other retailers?
- How is their work displayed in store? Do they have a strong brand?
- Overall what does this tell you about their positioning and target customer?
Once you have gathered all of your information, spend time considering how you compare and identify what differentiates you from the rest of the crowd.
Brainstorm any changes that you feel you would like to make to your pricing or other aspects of your business and implement!
Let us know how you keep an eye on the market.
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