That’s right. You get to define with whom you are competing. But how? Start by asking yourself which companies and products offer a solution to the same problem you’re trying to solve. And who is doing it well. Perhaps (gasp) even better than you. These are your competitors. Even if they aren’t in the same industry or category as you, they are part of your target consumer’s consideration set and you will best be served to acknowledge all the options they have. Next, do your research. Narrow the set to 4-5 competitors and conduct a competitive analysis looking at their positioning, messaging, branding, marketing and promotion. In short, know who you want to go up against, aim high and dig deep.
Yes, knowledge is power. But it comes with a well-deserved caveat. Don’t stay so close to your competition that you become reactive. Don’t become so dialed in to their growth, strategies or innovation that your own path forward is influenced in a negative way. Don’t spend so much time on them that you start to mimic their approach or messaging. You want to stay close so you know how you can continue to differentiate yourself, not so you can mirror their success.
Remember that competitive audit you conducted? Use it. Identify two polarizing benefits that define your category and use those as the X & Y axis to plot those 3-4 competitors and yourself. Where is there overlap? Is it all overlap? Yes? Don’t panic. Find a space that isn’t occupied, determine whether or not you can own it and then call us. Or call us first. Seriously.
Consumers and customers make emotional decisions. We all know that. So why do we focus all of our messaging and marketing efforts on product and/or functional benefits? Sure, facts/figures/reasons-to-believe (RTBs) are foundational and necessary to validate any claim or message you make. We call them the what. Loyalty however, is in the why. Why am I doing business with you? Why am I a lifetime consumer? Lead with the why, and we promise you can gain your share of consumers’ attention and dollars without lowering your price, your profit or your potential.