Build Your Personal Brand: Analyze Your Competition

Product brand managers analyze their competitor products’ strengths and weaknesses. As a personal brand, you must do the same. Read on to find out how to figure out your brand’s competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and then how to position your strengths to win.

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When product brand managers brand their products, they spend a lot of time analyzing their competition. Managers who work for Pepsi analyze Coca-Cola. The people at Caribou Coffee analyze Starbucks. And the folks at Toyota analyze Honda.

The managers analyze the competitor’s strengths and weaknesses. What do the competitors do better than anyone else? Why do people buy their products? Why do some people in the target market choose to not purchase their products? What do their former (or current) customers complain about regarding their products or services?

Then these managers match up their own product’s strengths against their competitor’s product weaknesses, positioning themselves to beat the competitors by focusing on beating those weaknesses.

Likewise, as a personal brand, you have competitors out there who want the same promotion, the same great job, the same sweet projects, or the same customers. You need to analyze your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, and then position yourself to beat their weaknesses.

First, identify your competitors.

Who are they? Do you know (or know of) the actual people you are competing with at this time? (i.e. you know their names and where they work now). Or do you have more of a general idea of your competition, in terms of skill sets and talent?

Where are your competitors now? Are they at the same company as where you work, or are they at a different company? If you own a business, where is your competition (and does it even matter where they are)?

Next, list your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. (Do this over, say, a week’s time so that you brainstorm a complete list.)

What do they do better than most people in their category? What is it that their target market (bosses or customers) seem to love about them?

What do they do that annoys their target market (bosses or customers)? What is it about them that could keep them from succeeding? Is it their communication skills? Their timing? Their lack of integrity? Because they’re usually late with their deliverables? Because people don’t seem to like working with them?

Once you’ve defined their strengths and weaknesses, review your strengths again. Which of your strengths can be positioned against their weaknesses?

What do you offer that your competitors don’t offer? How can you parlay your strengths to overshadow their weaknesses?

After you brainstorm ideas regarding what you offer that your competitors don’t offer, summarize what you offer. That is your value proposition.

Brainstorm some ways that you can use your value proposition to get “your brand” into the minds of your target market. And then brainstorm some ways that you can use your value proposition to get the job you want, the promotion you want, or the customers you want.

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Glory Borgeson is a business coach, author, and speaker.

Do you want some help developing your own personal brand? Glory has created the “Brand Yourself! Coaching Program”. It is a self-paced coaching program you can purchase directly from Borgeson
Consulting. Since it is a self-paced coaching program, it is very affordable – less expensive than traditional coaching by telephone, and you complete it at your own pace.

The “Brand Yourself! Coaching Program” has 10 modules, taking you through each of the essential elements of personal branding.
Check it out on Glory’s website by clicking here.
Or call (630-653-0992)
or e-mail (info@BorgesonConsulting.com) to find out more about it.

3 Comments

  1. David M. Taylor on May 27, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Good article. I also think that we need to really understand our strengths and leverage these in every area of our life…including personal branding. The book “Career Distinction” by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson has some great ideas on how to leverage your strengths into a personal brand statement and your personal brand.

    I believe that we will make more progress in advancing ourselves if we concentrate more on our own strengths than on our competitor’s weaknesses. We do not want to be perceived as someone who exploits others’ weakesses, or steps on people to climb the corporate ladder.

    David M. Taylor
    http://www.strength-zone.com
    http://www.twitter.com/davidmarktaylor

  2. I Lost Thirty Pounds in Thirty Days on May 27, 2009 at 12:02 pm

    Cool Post, Thanks.

  3. Chris Perry on May 29, 2009 at 8:21 pm

    Glory, this is outstanding! I can’t agree more. This is important whether you are just starting or whether you are trying to grow your brand and/or business. Don’t forget to use your competitors as benchmarks for they have often done a lot of groundwork that can help you avoid start-up mistakes and advance much more smoothly and quickly.

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