Know the difference: competitors and sits next to
24 February 2017
Author: Vesta Zemaite
So, we’ve accepted your request to join the Anton Dell Fashion Consultancy. You’ve just received the questionnaire but admittedly, you’re a little foggy on some of the questions… We’re here to advise!
Particularly addressing the confusion between our ‘competitive to’ and ‘sits next to’ questions. Though the two questions may appear very similar, they each provide us with different information about your brand. Both are equally important.
Competitive to: this essentially means we want to find out who you feel your brand’s key opponent is in the market. To clarify, competitors are other brands that are similar to your own. Competitive brands are in the same category and price range; they will also offer similar styling collections. These are brands that your target customer may consider instead of yours; meaning that they serve a similar purpose. For example, MaxMara Weekend is competitive to MARC CAIN; both share the same target audience - offer similar styling collections within the same price range.
Although we understand that every brand is different, identifying similarities help us to better recognise the brand and the potential buyer target. Not only that, but it also compliments the brands portfolio and assists agents in identifying the types of shops that could potentially stock this type of product. Remember, it is very likely that your brand is not well known in the country you are looking to build your sales in.
Sits next to: this question addresses which brands you feel your brand is similar to and sits alongside. Brands that ‘sit next to’ your own are not competitors. For example, if a store sold multiple brands, what other collections do you envision would be sold beside yours? This gives us, as well as your potential agency partners, an indication of your planned positioning and image. The fellow brands you list will have a similar vibe to your own; they’ll also be similar in aesthetics, inspiration and perhaps address the same customer group, however, they are not in competition.
The difference between the two questions is this; a brand can ‘sit next to’ brands catering to other segments i.e. womenswear, footwear, accessories etc. An example of this is, a shoe brand may sit alongside an accessories brand, because they are similar in aesthetics and vibe, however they are not competitive to one another, as they sell different items. Whereas, as aforementioned ‘competitive to’ refers to any brand in the market that you feel is similar to your own - in category, style, price range and target market.
Overall, the information provided helps your prospective partners to better identify your goals as a brand, how you prefer your brand to be perceived and which shops he or she is to target.