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Secrets to Branding your Startup Part 3: Unlock & Discover your Unique Brand with a Competitive Set

How to develop a Competitive Set for the optimization of your company’s product and brand offerings.

Whether you’re looking to start your first business or revising the branding strategy for an existing one, developing a competitive set is an extremely useful tool for setting up your business for success. Understanding your competition gives you an edge and opens the door for strategic positioning within your identified market space. 

In the following article, we explore what, why, and how creating a competitive set can help you change the proverbial game for your business.

What is a Competitive Set and Why is it Useful?

A competitive set indicates where your brand stands in relation to your competitors, in the eyes of the consumer. Your competitors are other brands that offer similar products or services to your business. Gathering information about your competition and possible gaps in the market allows you to optimize your product model or branding strategy to provide superior solutions to your specific market audience.

The objective is to discern how your business can best cater to the needs of your consumer bases across your competitive landscape.

In the excerpt from Create a Memorable & Authentic Brand with Jiffy Iuen below, Jiffy provides the visual framework for developing your own competitive set.

Why is a Competitive Set Useful?

Using a variety of factors, you can effectively gauge gaps in the market that could provide opportunities for your business to offer a unique and different solution to your audience. These optimizations of your product or service will help you to craft a more specific positioning statement. This can make your brand stand out amidst the noise of your competition through clear and differentiated messaging. To learn more about developing your competitive positioning statement, see Part 2 of Secrets to Branding your StartUp.

As an authentic branding strategy, this exercise also puts your customer and your resource capacity at the center of your considerations and ensures that your brand maintains a contextual customer-focussed approach rather than falling into the trap of mimicking trends.

Activity: How To Create a Competitive Set

Referring to the graph below, develop your own competitive set using the guidelines to identify 'gaps' in the market where your brand could potentially provide a unique offering or service to your customers. 


  1.  Find out who your competitors are.
  2. Decide what your X and Y axis will represent based on the key objectives of your brand, some examples could be; convenience, affordability, cost, speed, luxury, exclusivity, durability. 
  3.  Map out your competitors on the graph and assess where you could strategically place your own brand in such a way as to provide a new solution or alternative option to the standard of your competitors.

Use the template provided below to plot your graph.

You could repeat this exercise with a variety of different factors to formulate novel ways of considering your place in the market, as well as the quality, scope, and accessibility of your products to your audience. 

Developing your competitive set defines the trajectory of your brand. It sets the goals and objectives of your business and provides clearly defined focus points for your team to aim towards. This gives direction to your business and brand growth and facilitates productivity and greater returns.

Interested in Learning More?

To unlock a better understanding of how to develop your own branding strategy, DesignClass hosts an insightful course on how to Create a Memorable & Authentic Brand with Jiffy Iuen.

Reference Links

Brand with a Competitive SetBrand with a Competitive SetBrand with a Competitive SetBrand with a Competitive Set
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