Researching new markets? Asking your rivals can help

  Read time : 6 mins       Added:  25/02/2020

Share:   LinkedIn     Twitter     Facebook     Share via email     Copy link to clipboardLink copied to clipboard

Next time you’re researching new markets before moving into a new sector or geography who will you consult? Will it be a research company, a marketing agency or simply Google? There are other options out there.

As he developed his strategy to break into the US, Adam Twidell, CEO of PrivateFly, chose a rather unlikely source of information and advice – his competitors.

“I’ve always found that if you’re humble when you ask people’s advice the vast majority of them are willing to give you their time, certainly in the US,” explained Twidell, who leads the booking platform for private jet chartering. He said of his competitors: “I’ve known them for a long time and always had good relationship with them. But it surprised me how friendly they’ve been. Having had lunches and dinners, I’ve often been taken aback by it – I just asked them for their opinions.”

But why would a company help a competitor, especially one that is about to launch on their patch? “There are benefits for everyone in knowing a certain number of competitors well,” commented Twidell. “You can warn each other about things happening in the sector and share best practice. People will sometimes say to you: ‘We’ve had a problem here, have you experienced it too? If so, how did you get around it?’ With private aviation, in particular, it’s a big market out there and there’s enough to share around.”

Not everybody that Twidell approached was forthcoming, and he stressed that his conversations with competitors have been about sharing learnings when launching in new markets rather than revealing business secrets. “We’ll talk about things such as fraud prevention or regulations in a particular territory. After all, there’s strength in numbers.”

Today the US accounts for 26 per cent of the company’s sales, along with 43 per cent in EMEA and 31 per cent in the UK. With its UK base in St Albans, PrivateFly has a turnover of £27m and is celebrating its tenth anniversary.

Key takeaways

  • Competitors can be an unlikely source of advice and support.
  • Opening a dialogue with your competitors means you can share learnings and best practice as well as warning each other about potential issues in your sector.

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.

About the author

BtB Logo_160x160px

Be the Business

This article was produced by our productivity partner Be the Business. We’re working with Be the Business to help businesses across the UK improve their productivity and boost their performance.

Find out more about Be the Business.

Related links

Important legal information

The products and services outlined on this site may be offered by legal entities from across Lloyds Banking Group, including Lloyds Bank plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc are separate legal entities within the Lloyds Banking Group.

Calls may be monitored or recorded in case we need to check we have carried out your instructions correctly and to help improve our quality of service. Please note that any data sent via e-mail is not secure and may be read by others.

Lloyds Bank is a trading name of Lloyds Bank plc, Bank of Scotland plc and Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no.2065. Bank of Scotland plc. Registered Office: The Mound, Edinburgh EH1 1YZ. Registered in Scotland no. SC327000. Lloyds Bank Corporate Markets plc. Registered office 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 10399850. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278, 169628 and 763256 respectively.

Eligible deposits with us are protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS). We are covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Please note that due to FSCS and FOS eligibility criteria not all business customers will be covered.

Lloyds Banking Group includes companies using brands including Lloyds Bank, Halifax and Bank of Scotland and their associated companies. More information on Lloyds Banking Group can be found at www.lloydsbankinggroup.com

While all reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is correct, no liability is accepted by Lloyds Bank for any loss or damage caused to any person relying on any statement or omission. This is for information only and should not be relied upon as offering advice for any set of circumstances. Specific advice should always be sought in each instance.