The Online Marketer

Digital First but physically enhanced

Redefining Your Industry For Growth

A New Approach to Competitive Landscapes


In the ever-evolving world of business, staying ahead of the competition means constantly rethinking how we define our industries. This process forms part of your strategic thinking which we teach in our “KnowThyself and Your Competitors“workshop.

For instance if you operated a cinema you would compete for the same entertainment Dollar as Netflix or Amazon but also with restaurants, casinos and nightclubs.

Define Your Industry Differently

The concept of expanding the definition of your industry is often referred to as redefining the competitive landscape. Here are a few additional ways to think about redefining the industry you are in:

1. Problem-Solving Approach: Instead of defining your industry by the product or service you offer, define it by the problem you solve for customers. For example, if you’re a movie theatre, you’re not just in the movie business, you’re in the business of providing entertainment, escapism, and social experiences.

2. Value Proposition: Consider the unique value you offer to customers. This could be convenience, quality, price, or something else entirely. For example, a high-end restaurant might consider its industry to be “luxury experiences” rather than just “food services.”

3. Customer Segmentation: Look at who your customers are and what other products or services they use. This can help you identify new competitors and potential opportunities. For example, a movie theatre might find that its customers also frequent gaming arcades, suggesting a potential new area to explore.

4. Technological Disruption: Technology is constantly changing the way industries operate. By staying ahead of tech trends, you can redefine your industry before your competitors do. For example, movie theatres now compete with streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.

5. Emotional Connection: Consider the emotional connection you have with your customers. Businesses that can create a strong emotional bond with their customers often transcend traditional industry boundaries. For example, Apple is not just a technology company; it’s a lifestyle brand.

Remember, the goal of redefining your industry is to identify new opportunities and threats, differentiate yourself from competitors, and ultimately deliver more value to your customers.

Case Studies

Examples of Redefining the Competitive Landscape

Netflix: Netflix started as a DVD rental service, competing with Blockbuster. However, they saw the potential of online streaming early on and shifted their business model, effectively redefining their competitive landscape. Today, they compete with cable TV, other streaming services, and even social media platforms for viewers’ attention.

Amazon: Amazon began as an online bookstore, competing with other booksellers. However, they expanded their vision to become “the world’s most customer-centric company,” selling everything from electronics to groceries. They now compete with retailers in virtually every industry.

Warby Parker: Warby Parker, a startup that began with a simple idea – to offer affordable, stylish eyeglasses online – effectively redefined their competitive landscape.

Traditionally, the eyewear industry was dominated by a few large companies that kept prices high. Warby Parker challenged this model by designing glasses in-house and providing a unique online shopping experience, which included a home try-on program. They also adopted a “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” program, appealing to socially conscious consumers. Today, they compete not only with traditional eyewear manufacturers but also with fashion brands and online retailers.

Cubitts: Based in London, Cubitts is a small business that handcrafts bespoke eyewear. They offer a unique, personalized experience where customers can have glasses tailor-made to their specifications. This includes a consultation to discuss style preferences, measurements for a perfect fit, and even the option to choose unique materials and colors.

This bespoke service contrasts with Warby Parker’s model, which focuses on stylish, ready-to-wear frames at affordable prices. While Warby Parker uses technology and scale to keep costs down, Cubitts focuses on craftsmanship and personalization, appealing to customers who value unique, custom-made products.

Know Thyself Workshop

What if the key to outpacing your competition was to redefine the very industry you're competing in? Join us as we delve into the benefits of broadening your industry definition and how it can propel your business to new heights."

Digitally First but Physically Enhanced

In today’s rapidly evolving digital landscape, businesses must constantly adapt and innovate to stay ahead of the competition. Embracing a “digital first” approach is no longer optional; it is a necessity for survival.
However, simply having a digital presence is not enough. To truly thrive in the digital realm, businesses must also enhance their physical presence in a way that complements and amplifies their digital efforts.
Scroll to Top