Film Room – Understanding your Competitors

Nick Soncrant - Business Development Specialist

Five years ago, I was given the opportunity to play collegiate soccer. It was at this time I was first exposed to watching game film. Game film of competitors.

Many of my teammates did not understand the process. Their argument was always along the lines of, “Why waste time observing them when we should be focusing on our game?” For me, it was obvious. This was an opportunity to gain a strategic advantage over our competitor.

In business, this same argument always comes to fruition. One side argues for the focus to be on a business’s core competencies, while another understands the importance of being prepared, aware, and learning from the strengths and weaknesses of competitors.

When watching your business game film, there should be a focus on three key areas: Services-Marketing-Fee Structure.

Services are the tangible offerings a company provides to its customers. By looking at your competitor’s services, you gain insight into what they are doing similarly, as well as their approach to differentiate themselves. This allows your business to evaluate current services and consider new services that align with your core competencies.

Marketing is a company’s strategic and tactical approach into the market. I am including both strategic and tactical to focus on branding. Branding is very strategic. It is how your company is perceived in the market and is the vehicle that pushes your brand into the market. When reviewing your competitors’ marketing and branding, you should focus on their strategic message, design of marketing materials, and industry focus. By evaluating these three areas, you can refine your marketing and branding approach to key in on your competitors’ weaknesses or react to their strengths.

Fee Structure is a very competitive and strategic aspect of any business that is used to gain market space from competitors. Determining your value to your clients while also being aware of what your competitors determine their worth to be can be a daunting task.

Do you consider your firm to be a boutique that provides high-quality services and products, or a firm that gets you what you need fast, quality being secondary? Both provide significant advantages. Reviewing your competitors’ fee structure allows you to conclude what they believe their value is to the market. This can be a powerful tool to understand their business and brand.

My coach would always tell us that the difference between winning and losing is paying attention to the little things: attention to detail. I believe firms that take the time to evaluate, prepare, and appropriately react are the ones that are going to the win the games and ultimately take market share.

So what are you doing? Head to the film room and start getting ready. You have a game to win.

Questions or comments? Please contact Nick Soncrant at