We know they’re around, we know they’re present, we know they could be sniffing around our customer base, which is why we always have to respect our competition.
No one wants to sit quietly and see you build your market share and develop your rapport within the market place, we all want some of it. We all want a share of time (and money) and marketing has to extend beyond the companies we work with. Here are some responses to expect from your competition and the signs:
- Copying Your Offering
The success of one product invariably means a response of a similar offering. The most high profile example this week has been the US patent trial, where Apple has accused Samsung of stealing iPhone features, namely scrolling and multi-torch. On a more familiar comparison, we only need to look at Netflix taking marketshare away from LoveFilm and Blockbuster.
Your Solution = don’t copy, innovate and never rest on your laurels
- Your Are Invisible
Operating in a vacuum and pretending you never exist is a dangerous game. There are always alternatives out there.
The Twitter landscape is full of direct messages that are purely brand related and how choosing a particular product/service is the best option. Repeated ‘sales messages’ produce potential customers who are less willing to trust.
A sensible route is to acknowledge your marketplace. A recent example has seen the Co-operative bank acknowledge this by promising to provide ‘customer-led, ethically driven’ banking and pledge to shake up the sector (we’ll wait and see) by acquiring 632 branches from Lloyds Banking Group.
Your Solution = champion authenticity and build trust in your marketplace
- Going Head To Head
When product offerings are similar, the most obvious choice is to state that your product is the best and engage via the communications mix. A current example is Adidas pinning its adspend on a 17 day cover-wrap for free newspaper Metro in the battle for Olympic loyalty from Nike. Nike on the other hand have released it’s Olympic ad campaign ‘Greatness isn’t reserved for the chosen few in one special city.’
Your Solution = inspire loyalty, lead, don’t sit quietly
- Delivering A Better Product Than You
This is the most effective response by providing a service that has higher perceived value than you can provide. The end result is more customers, bigger market share and customer loyalty. It could be based on speed, it could be price, so keeping to business as usual could be the most damaging option to go for.
Your Solution = don’t follow, look to lead, keep thinking, keep creating