Companies can anticipate possible or likely competitive behaviors and environmental dynamics faster and better than they would otherwise with a competitive simulation workshop. Armed with the critical insights they yield, brands can adapt their plan to gain significant competitive advantage. That’s why they should be a core component of strategic brand development.
When executed properly, their output can help guide everything from positioning and messaging to branding, tactical planning, preemptive competitive counter-attacks, and ongoing lifecycle management. They should also be structured to ensure effective learning.
Getting started: The catalyst for a competitive simulation workshop is a comprehensive understanding of potential future-state scenarios. These scenarios are typically based on
- Information available in the literature
- Competitive intelligence provided by the client
- Primary market research involving internal and external stakeholders, especially influencers.
Once this information is synthesized, the future scenarios should:
- Be feasible and of high probability
- Have significant impact on the brand’s ability to meet sales and market share objectives
- Remain largely outside of client control
- Take into account potential competitive action at the product or portfolio level
- Be different enough from the other scenarios to be worthy of consideration
The workshop itself: Workshops are ideally 1.5 to 2 days in duration. On Day 1, scenarios are evaluated iteratively in small and large groups using tools and templates that assist in determining:
1) The probability that the scenario (all or in part) will occur
2) Product/portfolio winners and losers
3) Baseline and emergent unmet needs by target-audience type
4) The most significant opportunities and threats to brand success
5) A recommended set of prioritized actions that should be taken as a result, either proactively or reactively.
Ideally, Day 2 culminates in a live presentation to senior management that focuses on the critical steps the team will take in response to prevailing trends. In addition, the group determines what steps should be implemented once certain future-state scenario events occur. Whether or not such a presentation is feasible, these action steps are captured in a PowerPoint deck to serve as a guiding star for the extended team.
Making it memorable: According to Stanford physics and education professor and Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, an effective active learning approach can improve understanding and retention of the material being discussed, while boosting the satisfaction of those taking part in the discussion as well.
Based upon these findings, Glue fosters active learning in our workshops. We consider them a success only if the learnings are remembered, and applied to strategy, positioning messaging, tactical planning, etc. by the full team.
To heighten attendee involvement and long-term impact, we recommend a range of creative and interactive exercises that are incredibly fun, and are able to pull even the most reserved participants out of their shells.
For more examples of big-agency thinking, without the big agency, visit glueadvertising.com/#work