“We don’t really have competitors.”

No, but your prospect has another alternative.

That is the real question. Who is your customer’s next best alternative?


In South Africa there is only one retailer obsessed with premium quality food: Woolworths. You could argue they have no competition, especially the “Woollies” Food up the road from my office. But guess what…just down the road there is a Shell service station with a Vida E Cafe inside. That is my next best alternative and in my view the competition to the Woollies when I feel like treating myself.

Does Woolworths regard Vida E as a competitor? Maybe not.

So maybe you do not have a direct competitor. Maybe you are “the only company doing it like this”. But your prospect doesn’t really care, do they? They’ve got a need, and they have options to meet that need. Your question then should be: “what else (notice, not “who” else) is with me in that pool of options? That is your competition.

We make the mistake of thinking too narrowly about “competition” like we are all cars on a racetrack competing on the same terms. But this is not how it works in the world of human needs where the competitive space is bigger and broader. Where racing cars compete for attention against school concerts, cricket matches and a family braai.

So here’s the truth. You do have competition. I’ll say it again: You do have a competitor. The question is, do you know who they are? If you do not know, start by phoning your prospect and ask them what their options are. You may find that your biggest competitor is simply the status quo – do nothing.

You can only grow your business if you know who you are up against.

Who is your competitor?

If you want to do a competitor analysis, contact us!