Many brands think that messaging is the be-all and end-all of outperforming your competitors. And while we don’t want to make light of its importance, we firmly believe that the best product always wins. That being said, how can you concretely compare the performance of your product to those of your competitors? The simplest method is to get your hands on the actual product, but this isn’t possible for all industries. Moreover, an even better way to improve product sales is to focus on the consumer and what they think. Here’s where social intelligence and competitive product analysis come into the picture.
What is social intelligence?
Social intelligence is the umbrella term for the gathering and analysis of Internet data related to your topic (or brand) of choice. Businesses, researchers, and journalists alike use it to understand general audience consensus, what they like, who they are, and more. For the first time, companies have access to real-time feedback from a global community of consumers, without the use of costly focus groups or surveys. Today, many companies use a social intelligence tool because they understand the impact of digital communities on real-word purchasing behavior. However, many miss out on the opportunities it provides for competitor benchmarking.
How can competitor benchmarking help my company improve our product?
Many companies tend to zero in on consumer feedback about their own products, and rightly so. However, the versatility of social intelligence gives companies a crucial and cost-effective glimpse into what consumers think of competing products. Understanding what audiences like and dislike about products equips your team with the proper intel to innovate and develop what your target audience wants.
Let’s take a look at some examples. The following Twitter user complained to cosmetic giant Estee Lauder about the pump of one of its foundation products.
This single post gives you intel on what consumers find troublesome in makeup products, which you can then use to design future packaging. Furthermore, with a competitive product analysis dashboard, you can effortlessly search for keywords, like “pump” or “messy,” to pinpoint other products with the same issue. A competitive product analysis on beauty and makeup competitors would quickly surface this tweet.
We’d also like to commend Estee Lauder’s team, who quickly responded to the tweet with a solution.
For our second example, we’re focusing on a digital product rather than a physical one. The following Twitter user complained about one particular feature on Animal Crossing, a popular Nintendo video game.
Having this feedback does more than simply allowing the Animal Crossing team to fix this feature. It also gives you hints about what gamers want from your own product. Even when it comes to software programs, competitive product analysis always delivers comprehensive insight into the user experience.
I’m interested in conducting a competitive product analysis. How does it actually work?
The setup of competitive product analysis is similar to the way most other social intelligence dashboards are set up. First, you will need to identify the top competitors that you know of, as well as their highest-performing products. The Synthesio team will then help you to build out related keywords, like brand names, product names, hashtags, etc.
During this process, our team will also code the query in a way that filters out irrelevant mentions from the data set. For example, a competitive product analysis on Apple products (i.e. the iPhone) is likely to pull in content related to apples as a fruit (such as articles or recipes). Synthesio’s team of experts will add in the necessary code to circumvent this scenario. Furthermore, Synthesio’s new Noise Reducer function automatically removes mentions related to job postings, online games, advertisements, hate speech, vulgarity, and more. The resulting data set will accurately reflect consumer opinions and reduce your time-to-insights.
Get Started With a Competitive Product Analysis Before Your Competitors Do
Many companies aren’t fully leveraging the power that social intelligence offers, which equips you with up-to-date, honest consumer feedback on products in your industry. Moreover, you wouldn’t want to miss out on this intel while your competitors monitor you. To see a real-life example of how a leading corporation used competitive product analysis, read our newest case study on the beer and hard seltzer industries here.