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What’s Your Competitive Landscape?

Finding your unique niche in the market is critical and necessary for your brand's success in the marketplace. A perceptual map can identify brand competition.

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Finding your unique niche in the market is both critical and necessary for your brand’s success in the marketplace. One very good method for identifying holes needing to be filled in your marketplace is a perceptual map. This can be particularly useful if your brand is not yet established, yet you know roughly what you do and what you want to be known for.

Perceptual Map of Competing Products with Ideal Vectors, from Wikipedia

The way a perceptual map works is to take two concepts or brand attributes and lay them out on a graph, then you simply place your competitors on the graph where you believe they fit based on the brand messaging you have been exposed to.  This map will highlight areas that are being under served by your competitors and will facilitate your brand’s ownership of a specific space in the marketplace. It’s useful to make several different perceptual maps to identify the one(s) that will give you the best niche and consequently the most cost-effective  advertising niche.

Creating your own category or subcategory will ultimately costs you less and facilitates your long term success. In a recent article titled: 4 Ways to Block Brand Competition, inc.com elaborates: “In other words, instead of being focused on being the superior brand in an established category, such as computers or snacks, create something so innovative that it surpasses your competitors, thus creating your own category or subcategory.” By not competing head to head with another brand, your money can be spent building your business up – not tearing your competition down.

While it can be a bit daunting to set out on your own course, the HBR recently noted in Make Your Competition Irrelevant (blogs.hbr.org), “Certainly not every company is willing to take the risks of going outside the comfort zone of the existing target market, value proposition, and business model. Those who do, however, stand a chance of creating a category or subcategory in which some or all competitor brands are not visible or credible. The result can be a market in which there is no competition at all for an extended time or one in which the competition is reduced or weakened. The payoff of operating with no or little competition is, of course, huge.”

So if you haven’t taken the time to create perceptual maps for your brand – this would be an ideal time. The economy is beginning to recover and both consumers and businesses are beginning to spend more freely — this represents a profound opportunity to capture more of your market from consumers and to better utilize your hard earned advertising dollars. Creating your own Category or Subcategory allows your brand to get the most bang for your buck, to not have to compete head to head with the market leaders, and to identify a niche that has the potential to be valued and valuable in your marketplace. What does your perceptual map tell you about your brand?


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Tisha Oehmen

Tisha Oehmen is a professional brand strategist and a leader in the branding field. She was recently named a member of the Global Guru’s Top 30 Brand Gurus. She is also the co-founder of Oregon-based Paradux Media Group and the best-selling author of the book, Finding Brand: The Brand Book Tutorial.

Possessing expertise in both front- and back-office operations, Tisha conceptualizes, develops, and implements initiatives to foster brand effectiveness like no other. With over 15 years of experience in branding and marketing, Tisha has successfully led large financial institutions and health care companies down the path of renaming their business.

Where Tisha really shines is in the work that isn’t done. Sometimes a name change for a business isn’t in their best interest and after meeting with Tisha, they are able to find the true value and equity that has always been in their brand. Tisha has a special knack of being able to communicate the value so that the CEO/Business owner can see its luster and then with a little polishing, make it shine company wide.

Tisha is best known for developing long lasting branding campaigns that speak to the heart of the business, the brand, and the community. True brand, no matter how big or small, has longevity. Creating branding campaigns that have longevity, that have a laser-like focus, is where Tisha thrives.

Tisha received her M.B.A. from the University of Oregon, from where she also earned a B.A. in Political Science. She enjoyed a distinguished academic career punctuated by enthusiastic and successful participation in competitive speaking events, and holds numerous awards for her skill in public speaking. Tisha is widely recognized for her ability to capture an audience’s attention with her straightforward and engaging speaking style.

When not working, she enjoys golfing, baking, reading, and hiking with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs, Chloe and Jackson. She’s also an active member of Rotary International, the Chamber of Commerce, and is a very proud supporter of the Oregon Ducks. Tisha lives in Eagle Point, Oregon.

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