Interior Design Marketing: Business or Battlefield?

While I don’t believe in attacking the competition or in the idea of competition in the traditional sense, I think the following article has some great points that designers can draw upon to increase their market share. We, as designers, are not in a battle with one another. I think it’s just the opposite. If confident in our own abilities, we can be allies and inspiration for oneanother.

If you're being who you are and doing what you do best, you have no competition.

-V. Carr
Managing Director
The Interior Design Resource Agency

What is Use of Competitive Analysis?

1. Forecast competitor’s strategies

2. Planning your strategies

3. Understanding competitors’ behavior

4. Planning your behavior

5. Targeting and capturing consumer and market

Resulting Strategies
On the beginning of Gulf War, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf said, " I can not have commanders who do not understand that it is attack, attack, attack, attack, and destroy every step of the way."

The war game is an effective tool for uncovering hidden weaknesses - your own and those of your competitors. Al Ries & Jack Trout have described different situations on warfare in their book "Marketing Warfare".  Basically there are four warfare situations where you need to adopt different strategies.


1. Only the market leader should consider playing defense.

2. The best defensive strategy is the courage to be you.


1. The main consideration is the strength of the leader's position

2. Find a weakness in the leader's strength and make that your strength.

3. Launch on as narrow a front as possible [find your niche].


1. A good flanking move must be made into an uncontested area.

2. Tactical surprise ought to be an important element of the plan.

3. The pursuit is just as critical as the launch itself.


1. Find a segment of the market small enough to defend.

2. No matter how successful you become, never act like the leader.

3. Be prepared to bug out at a moment's notice

Technology & Marketing Warfare

Competitive analysis is not one time activity. If you really believe in competitive analysis, you need to understand creating infrastructure, which helps you to gather data and information, process them and analyze in details. And information technology is the weapon to minimize time and cost improving quality of work.

Tracking Intelligence

Competitive analysis is processed analysis of data and information pertaining to your performance and competitor’s performance in market. Storing data under robust architectures and using statistical and mining tools like SAS, Intelligentminer, Cognos or Quest are a few. Cost of architecture depends on key requirement and tools you need to use.


Geographical Information System helps you to understand market competitiveness plotting every minute details on charts and maps. It makes easy access to your database geographically. It is the best solution for multi notational or global players. 

Portal analysis

The website is the best source for competitive analysis. Desk research is being one of the outsourced activities. Details like products, services, philosophy, vision and objectives, news, investment related information, clients, partners, branches and current happenings would be easily known from competitor’s websites.

Online Surveys

Arie de Geus says, "The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage." Online surveys are best solution to get quick responses from customers. It is the most successful solution as it is targeted. It is quick tools in gathering information about the marketplace, or feedback about your company or products. Visit, or for further information.

This is not an exhaustive description of solutions. Technology is not limited to any horizon.


Competitive analysis or competitive intelligence is just open eyes and mind to understand what is happening in market. Plan it well. Organize it well. Implement. Improve upon mistakes. There are the basic solutions of life. It also applies to business life.

And at last…

"Enjoy the successes that you have, and don't be too hard on yourself when you don't do well. Too many times we beat up on ourselves. Just relax and enjoy It." - Patty Sheehan

By Jay C.
Photography by Michael Selivanov