University of Maryland Extension

Customers and the competition

Ginger S. Myers, Extension Specialist, Marketing, University of Maryland Extension and Kim Rush Lynch, Extension Educator, University of Maryland Extension

Urban Ag home | Table of contents

Do you know what your competition is up to? If not, you could be headed for trouble because ignorance isn’t bliss when it comes to your competition. There is always competition. Even if you’re the only urban grower in town, you face competition from the sale of other kinds of produce where your customers will spend their money instead of with you.

The first step to understanding your competition is to know who they are. This sounds easy enough, but it’s more complicated than just listing your obvious competitors. There are really three types of competitors to study.

  1. Competitors that sell similar products or who use marketing strategies similar to yours, such as low inputs producers or labels like pesticide-free.

  2. Competitors that compete for the same customers’ dollars – your target audience.

  3. Future competitors. Your competition could be a new business offering a substitute or similar product that makes yours less desirable. Don’t just research what’s out there already. You need to constantly be on the lookout for new competition.

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