February 3, 2007

Four reasons to thank Competition

It always happens that some companies are ahead of their competitors(who are in the same field) but how many times they think "What would I be doing if my competitor wasn't there".This means that competitors give more scope of improvement to the other guys.

Read this interesting article on Business Week
Listed below are the four reasons(some important points from the article), why we should thank COMPETITION & what can we do to overcome them:

Why you should thank competition:

1. Competitors help you define who you are to your customers:
Example: Pepsi and Coke.
Pepsi a much older player from in that market and uses coarser language. So when potential clients ask me(sales guy) for a point of reference when considering me for a speaking gig, I say "I'm the kinder, gentler, female version of Mr. X who doesn't curse." That usually produces a smile of understanding—and often, a deal.

2. Rivalry can bring out your best:
Example : Japanese automakers in American market
When the Japanese automakers entered the US market,US manufacturers had to do lots of improvement to the existing products.Thus the end benefit was "When your competitors improve, you had better improve too—or risk getting fired by your customers. Even though it's painful and expensive, over time you can provide better products and services".

3. Competition adds energy to your selling efforts:
Example :Nike and Reebok
At one time, Nike's mission statement was "crush Reebok." Those were words the sales forces of both shoe manufacturers could rally around but Nike won.Your customers also get to join in on the fun of choosing sides and participating in the duel with their dollars.

4. Competitors educate your customers through their advertising and marketing:
While their(competitor's) campaigns push customers on their specific new products and services, they're simultaneously marketing potentials on new features available industrywide. This means "Your competitor is doing some pre-selling for you, legitimizing the latest widget".

Strategies to strengthen the competitive position:

1. Information is power:
Learn everything there is to know about your primary competitors. Make a scorecard of the key points you want to evaluate, and measure them on a regular basis. If they have a store, go there and shop, and pay attention to everything from the cleanliness of the parking lot to the type of customers to the store’s layout and signage.

2.Track their trends:
If you fill out a scorecard on your major competitors on a monthly basis, after only a couple of months you will begin to see trends and you can try to improve on those lines.

3.Once you understand your competitors, you start to see how they think and act:
Strategize how you can excel where they're weak and match them where they're strong. Once you've done this work, don't keep it a secret. Let your customers and potential buyers know how you outshine your competitors.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home