When creating a product, startup idea or business, you should always be aware of who your competitors are.
An article posted by Inc.com titled, “How to Write a Great Business Plan: Competitive Analysis,” explains that you must identify your main competitors. It’s worth pointing out that no matter what idea you come up with, there’s a more than likely chance that there will be competitors/competition and there could possibly be someone with the same idea. At the end of the day, it’s about what makes your idea better and what makes your idea stand out.
The article states that once you’ve identified your competitors, it’s important to ask yourself about their strengths/weaknesses, their basic objectives, marketing strategies, and possible ways that you can take their market share away.
After you ask yourself those questions about your competitor, the next step is to step back and see where you excel at and lack at in those areas so that in the long run you’ll end up passing your competitor. The article also points out that there are different competitors such as primary competitors and secondary competitors.
An example of primary competitors that come to mind are apps such as Skype and Oovoo. These two services are primary because they are both video-calling services that have the same features with minor differences here and there. An example of secondary competitors would be services like Twitter, Instagram, Ustream, Perriscope and Facebook for their live feature. Going live on these applications is a big part of social media these days. What makes these secondary competitors is that all though going live is a major component of each of these applications, there are other components of these social apps/ websites that users love that are all different from the other.
In the article, “How Bleacher Report Pivoted From Facebook to Instagram,” it also stated an interesting technique is evolving a product that I found interesting. podcast found in this article they stated that the Bleacher Report show House of Highlights became began to rise in audience engagement when celebrities such as musicians and athletes (like Drake and Lebron James for example) began to embrace the show and interact with/ and follow on social media. This is a brilliant technique because celebrities have a fan base that follows their career and will more than likely look into whatever it is that they’re endorsing. Thus, I think it is a good idea to have a notable name help endorse your product/idea if at all possible because it could potentially be worth it in the end.
Time and time again we’ve seen the rise of platforms due to celebrity interactions. When it comes to social media, celebrities can attract a large crowd. Even with applications that don’t necessarily pertain to social media, if a celebrity gives it the green light to its followers it’s for sure guaranteed to gain popularity.
There’s a fairly new app (about seven months old now) that I’ve noticed is gaining traction. TraceMe is for fans of celebrities to follow and witness behind the scenes content of their favorite celebrities — and the celebrities even get on their and do live chats with their fans. Seattle Seahawks Football player Russell Wilson and his wife, R&B singer Ciara, created the app, which helps them to encourage more celebrities to participate. This is a brilliant marketing plan, in my opinion. This also works with things like waist trainers, tea that makes you lose weight/ flat tummy tea, etc. These are all things that we see scrolling down our Instagram celebrity explore pages.
However, even with tons of competitors out there, it’s still possible to see your product at the top of the game. A prime example of this is the app, Bumble. In a world where there are so many dating applications, this one managed to make a way for itself and stand out on its own as the first dating app where women make the first move.
Whitney Wolfe, who is the creator of Bumble, started her career at Tinder. But Tinder wasn’t actually Tinder at the time. As Wolfe tells Guy Raz on the How I Built This podcast, they started out as something entirely different and kept changing the name and product. Wolfe even stated at one point in the interview that one of the apps they were working on was something that her and her friends would never use. So Tinder is really a testament to the idea that a product has to be (or at least should be) something you need/ want because at the end of the day, you’ll work harder for it to come to fruition.
After her departure from Tinder, Whitney also discusses how Bumble came to be and what I found interesting, is how the name came about. After weeks of trying to come up with names non-stop for the new application (that puts women in control of making the first move), the name came about when someone on Whitney’s team was on the phone with her husband one morning and the lady called her husband a bumbling-idiot and then she suggested to Whitney who initially hated it, she eventually came around to loving it and thus Bumble was born.
I think this story is really unique because for one it shows that it’s good to have a good team to help you with your startup, and for two it shows that if you put in the hard work and dedication into what you love, nothing but good can come from it. It reminds me of the saying, “Do what you love and love what you do,” and as long as you follow through with that mindset, there’s no way you can fail. This is arguably why Whitney Wolfe has co-founded and founded two business now. It’s inspiring to say the least.