You probably already know all about SWOT evaluation. You might even have your oppositions goal demographics, market share and sales figures readily available. But have you ever ever applied the identical kind of stringent methodology to analysing your competitors’ visual presence within the marketplace? A graphic design audit is a implausible and comparatively easy method to get a transparent picture of how your competitors are perceived, what key messages they’re communicating and the way you look when placed alongside them. It’s also a precious exercise that informs you in regards to the kind of communication your customers are receiving regularly out of your key competitors.
So how do you do it?
The first step to a graphic design audit is to compile every bit of sales and marketing collateral you’ll find from the competition. This includes trawling through their website and taking screen grabs of key pages, subscribing to their mailing lists, getting your hands on their brochures, purchasing their products so you may have a have a look at packaging etc. etc.
According to Peter L. Phillips writer of “Creating the Perfect Design Brief – How to Manage Design for Strategic Advantage”, among the best, least expensive and fastest methods is to attend all industry trade shows. There is nothing illegal, unprofessional or immoral about this practice. Business is merely a game we’re playing to win in spite of everything!
Mr Phillips also suggests using your sales force members to seek out out what the competition are as much as.
As they arrive into direct contact with customers day by day, they’ll often pick up competitive literature from the client. They only must know what you would like and after all why you would like it.
So once you’ve gotten compiled the data, what do you do with it?
The best method to start is by putting your competitors’ information up on the wall and analysing them one after the other. Invite as many individuals as possible out of your sales, marketing and business teams to offer their individual opinion on what design elements are working thoroughly for the competition, and what weaknesses they’ll see. By starting your evaluation in your competitors first, you’ll construct up a little bit of objectivity so you may then turn the identical harsh critique onto yourself.
Look for tactics the design and language make a document unique. Do they’ve a friendly feel and appear that reflects more personalized service? Do they appear more skilled than you? Why? Is it since the page is less cluttered, the colors are more toned down or another reason? Is their website easier to navigate than your individual? What do you think that their reasons behind these decisions were? Is there anything you may learn from them? Most importantly, how are these competitors using design for competitive advantage?
Now for the hard part – using the identical evaluation on yourself. Reassure your staff that this just isn’t an exercise where they should defend their work, it’s merely a way of gaining useful information that would provide you with a competitive advantage that improves your bottom line. This aspect of the audit sometimes proves a bit tricky so you may need an independent opinion from a graphic design firm that understands the method to enable you to out.
It is amazing how much strategic information this process can generate. It gives you latest ideas and a fresh perspective that may influence your entire way you approach your marketing for the 12 months. And considering numerous businesses consider graphic design as an annoying inconvenience, in the event you are the primary to make use of this more strategic approach you will see that it’s one other tool to enable you to stay one step ahead of the competition.