Imagine you're the Mars company and your best-seller product is the iconic candy bar with nougat and caramel, coated with milk chocolate.
Now answer this question:
Who are your most *direct* competitors?
Can you list as quickly as possible five or six of them?
I give you a minute...
Are you done?
What are the results?
Something like these?
In that case, you've failed 😱 one of the most iconic business tests invented by Xerox for their sales team in the eighties. When shown a Mars bar, you think chocolate bar + single-use packaging + fit in the purse + vending machine. You think 'product' like an engineer should (or a very poor marketer)... and this is why you fail.
Among all the possible answers to 'Who are your most direct competitors?' these below are way more on point:
Not because they look like your product with some coconut or almond twist, but because they are powerful solutions to the low-glycemic/snack craving problem you want to solve.
Thinking in terms of problems to be solved is nothing new, yet it's one of the most important lessons you need to integrate for business in general and even more important for innovation. The market and your potential customers don't care about your product as it is just a feature of your business. Your business is the problem that you solve and the value you might create by doing so.