How to Explore the Competitors like Sherlock


Competitors are very smart, so we should know something about their strategy. Do you remember Sherlock Holmes? When he wants to find some important details, he uses two methods of thinking. We’ll learn them both, in order to know our competitors better and ask ourselves five important questions.

Competitors and Method of Deduction

It has several successive steps: first of all, we have a theory, then consider a hypothesis, then we observe. And the last step is making a conclusion.

Let’s begin with three following questions:

  • What do your competitors do, that you don’t?

Think for a moment. What strategy do your competitors use? Maybe, they have interesting tactics, that attract customers and partners. Create your theory and then try to observe. Perhaps, you’ll find some useful details, that you’ve never noticed before.

Let’s imagine that you are a company, which sells some products offline. Your sales are high, but the competitors are a step ahead. What’s the matter? – They have a website. It makes a great difference.

  • What do you do, that your competitors don’t?

Think about yours and their business strategy. Compare them in theory and try to find your advantages. Then add some new ideas and make your strategy better.

For example, we develop the websites, and our rivals do it too. But we also create a responsive web design and can suggest a site audit. These are our advantages.

Competitors and Method of Induction

It works conversely. First, we observe and gather information. Then we create a pattern of strategy. The next step is a tentative hypothesis. And finally, we make a conclusion.

Let’s consider the following issues:

  • Who are your competitors? How does their team look?

Try to find out the experience level of their team. Who are their leaders? What kind of people works with your competitors? What are their personal qualities, education, age? Maybe, you need new young employees with fresh ideas. Create your own hypothesis and then make decisions.

Sherlock's plan on competitors

  • Who are your competitors’ managers? How do they work?

Try to have a talk with their managers. Look how they interact with each other, what issues they discuss, what tools they use. And of course, you should compare your and their management styles. Maybe, they have some strategies, that work very well. You can take the best ideas and include them into your management system.

  • What do the customers think about your competitors?

Everybody’s business goal is a happy and satisfied client. Customer feedback could show most of advantages and disadvantages of our work. That’s why, if you want to know something about your competitors, watch carefully, what people say about them.

The Portrait of Your Competitor

And finally, imagine the portrait of your customer. Think about his needs, how he looks, what he is fond of, what he expects you. We act like real detectives. It will help you to understand your clients better and give them exactly what they want.

All the conclusions are ready, and you have many important details. Be sure, this precious knowledge will help you to reach the success and fight off the competitors.

Wish you productive thinking and fresh ideas!

Images above: footage from “Sherlock” where Benedict Cumberbatch starred.

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