Studying Your Competitors is Overrated. Studying Your Customers is Underrated

I don’t know that there’s a research report that shows how rampant competition focused mindset is vs a customer focused one. But, you instinctively know this if you spend anytime in the world of business. And you’re probably more focused on studying your competitors than you are your customers.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not against studying competitors.

Why is it important to study competitors?

Knowing who your competitors are, and what they are offering, can help you to make your products, services and marketing stand out. It will enable you to set your prices competitively and respond to potential threats.

The reason why I don’t obsess over studying competitors is because it is not a proactive activity; rather a reactive one. This is how I view competitors: Know them, but don’t copy them; keep them in your rearview mirror.

It’s important to understand what’s going on around you, but the best way to stay ahead is a laser focus on building great products and services that people need. And, when everyone is copying each other no one is looking at what’s hidden. You want to know what’s hidden?

Ask your customers.


Customer discovery never stops; it’s an ongoing activity. Customers keep evolving, and so do their needs.

Need help understanding your customer frustrations and pain? Here are some questions to get your customers to reveal their problems.

Bottom line: Obsess about your customers, not your competitors. Your customers are your north star, not your competitors.