Most of the time, talking about your competitors with our users is something we try to avoid. If they don't know some of these companies, we'd prefer it remains like this. Or if they think their product is better than ours, we don't want to create the opportunity for them to tell us.
But, we all know that we can't hide and that having a clear understanding of how people see us in the market is really useful. So how can we know who are our real competitors and how our users compare us to them, without risking to have a painful conversation and maybe even create churn?
At Screeb, we got inspired by a book called "When Coffee and Kale Compete" by Alan Klement. In this book, Klement explains how people don't want to buy a product A or B, but want to make progress and have jobs to be done. Products are here to help them do that.
It also means that for a single job to be done, people can consider products that have nothing in common, from their maker point of vue. But that's not the maker's - the startup for example - point of vue that matters but the fact that those products are considered as equal solution to a problem.
We found that asking a simple question to your users can help you spot other products (aka competitors) even if they're not direct alternatives working in the same market as you (coffee VS kale, for example, as in the book title):
If you couldn't use Screeb anymore, what would you do instead?
It may seem basic. Maybe even too basic. But since it's so simple, responses will be straightforward they will let you spot direct competitors or more exotic substitute means.
To help companies ask this questions to their users, we made a template from it. And we added a rating to collect their satisfaction and see if they risk to leave for the alternative in the near future.
You want to try it? Sign up for Screeb today and start identifying your competitors in a few minutes!