From Local to Multi-Million : A Tale of Competitor Insight and Strategic Marketing

Min Read
November 14, 2023


In the entrepreneurial world, stories of innovation and strategic growth serve as powerful inspiration. 

Today, we explore the journey of E-Trims, a company that revolutionised the label and packaging industry in Bangladesh and Europe. 

This tale is not just about technological advancement but also about strategic scaling and market understanding — key takeaways for startups and digital agencies.

Rethinking Marketing: Relationships Over Ads

In a world swamped with social media marketing, E-Trims' approach stands out. 

They rely predominantly on networking and word-of-mouth, augmented by strategic hiring. 

Their method demonstrates that in certain industries, personal connections and industry reputation can be more effective than traditional advertising. 

Each relationship is more than just a transaction; it is a partnership fostered with trust and mutual benefit. 

  • Personalized Engagement: Personalized communication and a genuine interest in their contacts' needs and challenges go a long way. It’s about building rapport and trust over time.
  • Follow-Up and Consistency: Regular follow-ups and consistent engagement are crucial in their business. This is done through  updates, sharing relevant content, or simply checking in to offer support.

Competitor Analysis: A Source of Innovation

Understanding competitors is not just about staying afloat; it's about thriving. 

E-Trims attributes 20% of their profit margins to insights gained from competitor analysis. 

In contrast to more established corporations, they maintain a culture of continuous innovation, learning from others' mistakes and staying adaptable. This mindset is crucial for startups aiming to remain relevant and innovative.

Comprehensive Market Research

Effective competitor analysis begins with comprehensive market research. This involves:

Gathering Data

Utilizing tools like market reports, online reviews, social media, and industry forums to gather data about competitors’ products, services, pricing, and customer feedback.

Monitoring Trends

Keeping an eye on industry trends helps in understanding where the market is heading and how competitors are responding.

Analyzing Competitors’ Strengths and Weaknesses

The next step is a detailed analysis of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

This includes:

- Product Analysis: Comparing features, quality, and range of products or services.

- Marketing Strategies: Assessing how competitors market themselves, including their online presence, advertising approaches, and public relations tactics.

- Customer Experience: Understanding their customer service approach and how they handle client relationships.

Learning from Competitors’ Mistakes

One of the key elements that contributed to this company's success was learning from its competitors' mistakes, which can be more informative than analyzing their successes. This involves:

- Customer Feedback: Paying attention to customer complaints and areas where competitors are lacking.

- Operational Missteps: Noting any operational failures or inefficiencies that competitors have encountered.

Distinct from its competitors, E-Trims distinguishes itself with its international focus and strategy. Their proactive efforts to extend sales and marketing into the US and Europe highlight their global approach, setting them apart from rivals who typically concentrate on and adhere to regional norms and standards

Systematic Documentation of Competitor Analysis

Choosing the Right Tools

Effective competitor analysis requires an organized approach to documentation. Various tools can be used for this purpose:

- CRM Software: Platforms like Salesforce or HubSpot can be used to track competitor information alongside customer data.

- Spreadsheets: Tools like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets are versatile for organizing data, making comparisons, and tracking changes over time.

- Dedicated Competitive Analysis Tools: Software like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or SpyFu can provide in-depth insights, especially for digital marketing competition.

Structuring the Documentation

The way you document your findings is crucial. A structured approach ensures that the data is useful and easily accessible :

- Categorization: Organize information into categories like pricing, product features, marketing strategies, customer feedback, etc.

- Timeline Views: Maintain a timeline of competitors’ major actions and milestones to identify patterns and strategies over time.

- Visual Representation: Use charts and graphs for a quick visual understanding of complex data.

Regular Updates and Reviews

Competitor analysis is not a one-off task. Regular updates and reviews are essential:

- Scheduled Updates: Set a regular schedule for updating your analysis to keep the information current.

- Review Meetings: Hold periodic meetings with your team to review the competitor data and discuss strategic implications.

Applying the Analysis

Documentation is just the first step. The real value comes from how you apply this analysis:

Strategic Planning

Use your findings to inform your strategic planning:

- SWOT Analysis: Incorporate insights into a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to understand your position relative to competitors.

- Gap Analysis: Identify gaps in the market that competitors are not addressing and explore how you can fill them.

Tactical Actions

The analysis should directly influence tactical decisions :

- Marketing Strategies: Adapt your marketing strategies based on what is working (or not working) for competitors.

- Product Development: Use insights to drive innovation in product development, focusing on areas where competitors are weak.

Monitoring Industry Trends

Your analysis should also include broader industry trends :

- Emerging Technologies: Stay informed about new technologies and methods being adopted in the industry.

- Consumer Behavior Trends: Keep an eye on changing consumer preferences and behaviors.

Applying Insights to Innovation

The ultimate goal of competitor analysis is not just to emulate what others are doing but to find gaps and opportunities to innovate. This involves :

- Identifying Market Gaps: Looking for needs that competitors are not meeting.

- Innovative Solutions: Developing unique solutions or improvements to existing products or services.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation

The market is always changing, and so are competitors. Continuous monitoring and adaptation are crucial. This includes :

- Regular Updates: Keeping competitor analysis an ongoing process, not a one-time activity.

- Adaptation: Being willing to pivot strategies based on new insights about competitors and the market.

Conclusion: A Model for Modern Startups

E-Trims' journey from a traditional manual setup to a multimillion-dollar enterprise is a testament to the power of innovation, strategic scaling, and market savvy. 

Their story resonates with the ethos of startups and digital agencies: the drive to innovate, the importance of relationships, and the agility to adapt. 

E-Trims stands as a shining example for all aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly in the tech and agency world, demonstrating that with the right approach, traditional industries can be transformed into arenas of technological advancement and strategic growth.