It's OK to look at competitor messaging

November 22, 2022

Let me share something with you that few people know:

It’s OK to look at competitor messaging.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when crafting brand messaging and positioning is to pretend like no one else is out there.

A lot of founders I’ve worked with will tell their teams that they don’t care what competitors are doing. They want their teams to worry less about what other companies are doing and focus instead on the things they can control.

Here’s the problem: your target audience does care what your competitors are doing. Before they’re customers, they’re trying to evaluate and choose between you and everyone else. After they’re customers, they’re trying to decide if they made the right choice.

If you never take the time to look at the messaging your competitors are using to communicate their value and position their products, it’s hard to craft messaging that helps your target audience understand what makes you and your products different.

Auditing competitor messaging helps you understand where the biggest gaps and opportunities are in the marketplace.

Today, I want to give you free access to the template I built and use to perform competitor positioning audits for clients.

Here’s how to access and use it:

Step 1: Click this link to open the view-only file.

Step 2: Click File > Make a Copy to save an editable version in your Drive.

Step 3: Delete the example text and list your own competitors.

Step 4: Begin auditing websites and fill in the columns for each competitor.

Step 5: Finish by adding your own company to the very bottom of the document and audit your own messaging.

Make Your Copy of Rob Wormley’s Competitive Positioning Audit Template

The example version of the audit you’ll see when you open the file was one I built for a startup in the health & wellness space.

This template makes it SUUUUPER simple to see at a glance exactly what headlines, value props, and positioning their closest competitors are using.

Marketing or Sales Leaders: this resource is fire 🔥🔥🔥 -- Get it and ask someone on your team to fill it out for you.

Non-Leaders: this resource will make you look gooooooood. Get it, fill it out, send it to your leaders, and instantly boost your own perceived value.

Before you get started, let me be clear: the purpose of this exercise is not to steal the messaging your competitors have on their websites and place it on your own. Copy-cats never win, so don’t do it. The purpose is to gain a better understanding of how other products are being positioned so that you can strengthen your own unique positioning even further.