Understand How Consumer Behavior Affects Competitors

Social listening tools are also helpful when conducting a competitor analysis, and given that inflation tends to heighten competition for consumer attention, accurate competitor analyses are crucial.

Understanding how consumer behavior affects competitors has several advantages. First, if it turns out that a competitor is successfully implementing strategies to adjust to inflation, it is useful to get a sense of how those strategies are connecting with consumers. For example, if a marketing campaign or adjustment in pricing of a particular product is drawing positive attention, making similar adjustments may be necessary to compete.

Competitor analyses can also identify strengths to lean into. If an analysis of consumer behavior suggests that customers tend to favor a particular product or service over a competitor’s, it can be a good idea to emphasize this product or service in marketing campaigns and promotions.

To gain these sorts of insights, companies again use social listening technology, assessing the emotional tone of content that mentions its own brand or products and content that mentions competing brands. For example, NetBase Quid AI assigns numerical Net Sentiment ratings ranging from -100 to 100 to posts. These ratings can be grouped to track the sentiment of specific audience segments, such as Gen Z customers, or they can track the general sentiment expressed toward a company across a range of posts from a diverse variety of consumers.

This technology enables companies to compare responses to their brand to responses to competitors’ brands, meaning they can make well-informed adjustments to stay competitive as inflation makes consumers more discerning and cost-conscious.