An indirect competitor is an organization that attracts the same types of customers as a person's business, but with a different product or service offering. A Chinese food restaurant is an indirect competitor for a traditional European cafe despite serving a very different selection of food.
The way a company markets against indirect competition is sometimes different from its approach against direct competition. Against an indirect competitor, the message is often that the company has the best product, service or solution to a particular need, such as food, clothing or entertainment. Against a direct competitor, the message typically centers on the distinct benefits of the company's goods relative to the similar goods offered by the competitor.