By Ian Youngman
This is often the 1st accomplished specialist advisor to the suggestions and strategies of competitor research for the monetary prone undefined. It explains the way to manage structures and types to spot and examine rivals and their items.
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11 Keeping secrets In a world where companies and employees are fearful o f information falling into the wrong hands, paranoia reigns supreme. This leads to a love of secrecy, even when the information can be found in the public domain. Some well known companies are open about their practice o f sacking and even prosecuting any employee giving out derogatory information to competitors or the press even if it is true. Other well 20 THE NEED FOR COMPETITOR A N A L Y S I S known names operate a strict secrecy practice, but keep quiet about it for fear o f damaging their reputation.
Industry groups for the exchange of information are mentioned. Although there may be similar informal groups out side the UK, I am not aware o f any formal groups operating in other European countries, or indeed elsewhere. These groups may simply be a UK phenomenon owing to the relatively limited travelling distances required to be met, compared to, say, the USA. 23 COMPETITOR ANALYSIS IN FINANCIAL SERVICES For competitors offering a branch service, it is easy to concentrate on the products and services in the branches and forget the key issues.
Now, o f course, many o f the societies have become banks, and most o f the now dwindling number of independent build ing societies are takeover targets. This makes them a key area, at least for a few years, for competitor intelligence. The societies need to know about their predators, and the predators need to know more about their targets than can be gleaned from the ofi:en very uninformative report and accounts. 6 Friendly societies Relatively recent legislation means these institutions can now offer a wide range o f services, including insurance.