Competitive Analysis For Artists and Creatives (Part I) – Your Competitor List

An important step in developing your business and marketing strategies is to take a look at your competition. You analyze your competition with the goal in mind of determining your competitive advantage and developing your market niche. Who knows? – you may get some great ideas and possibly creative inspiration!

The first step in a Competitive Analysis is to identify your competitors. This may sound easier than it really is. In working with my Artrepreneurship students at the Center For Innovation (Metropolitan State College Denver) I find that identifying one’s competition take a bit of effort and sometimes thinking outside the box.

Get a piece of paper and start to list your competitors. They could be in direct competition for your creative products or services or they could be in competition for the money in your customers wallet or purse. Your competitors could be individual artists, companies, or broad groups.

Here are some ideas on developing your competitor list:

  • Those who you have lost sales to or those who you think you have lost sales to.
  • “I don’t have any competition because my work is unique” – I urge you to take a real hard look at this position.
  • Competitors that are local, national, worldwide or virtual.
  • If your creative products are functional think of what other competitors provide a similar function.
  • Who else is competing for the dollars that your customer may spend with you?
  • Think of those that may become your competitors is the future.

Once you get your competitor or competitor groups listed you will be ready for the next step – analyzing your competition to find their areas of strength and weakness and developing a competitive strategy to grow your creative business.

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About Neil McKenzie

Neil McKenzie is an author, educator and consultant to artists and arts organizations. He is the author of The Artist’s Business and Marketing ToolBox – How to Start, Run and Market a Successful Arts or Creative Business available in softcover from Barnes & Noble and Amazon and as an eBook from iTunes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. He has developed and teaches the course “Artrepreneurship” at the Center for Innovation at Metropolitan State University of Denver, and is also a visiting professor at University College at the University of Denver. Neil has over 30 years’ experience as a management consultant and marketing executive, working with some of the world’s top brands. Neil is a frequent lecturer to artists and arts organizations, a guest columnist for Colorado Biz Magazine, where he covers the creative sector of the economy, and the author of several articles for Americans for the Arts, a national arts organization. Follow Neil on Twitter: @neilmckenzphoto

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