Your Company is Not the Competition

Nearly every company has competitors or will at some point. Even if your company is based on something totally new, you can bet that you will in short order have some competition. If you know who your business competitors are you can learn a great deal from them. The question is, what do you do with what you learn?

Mimic

You’ve undoubtedly heard the Charles Caleb Colton quote, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” With that in mind, there is something to be said for imitating some of your competitors’ best practices. But there is something else to consider. If you’ve ever watched an impressionist you will notice that they exaggerate some mannerism and speaking traits of the individuals they mimic. In some cases they actually are more engaging that the original. So, if you are going to imitate some of your competitors’ best practices, consider putting your own little wrinkle to it to set you apart.

Contrast

Imitating your business competitors, even with your own little wrinkles added, may not always be the best choice. In advertising, how often do you see a commercial where the advertiser pokes fun at their competition by punching holes in what the competitor claims is a great benefit or feature. Usually this is contrasted with something the company advertising offers that looks far more appealing in comparison. The next time you are watching television try to note when companies are doing this. It is probably more common that you would imagine. In fact, its use runs the gamut from political ads to consumer products.

Be Really Different

If you watch how Apple Computer competes with PC manufacturers you will see that Apple makes no bones about how un-PC they are. They don’t even want to be seen as just another computer company that does the same thing. They in essence create somewhat of a cult following with customers who will not even consider the competition. In fact, some of these customers view Apple as not really having a genuine competitor. The message here is that if you can differentiate yourself enough you can find yourself in a position of not really having any direct business competitors, at least as far as your customers are concerned. This is a difficult position to maintain and requires you to always be shaking things up. If you want this then the status quo is just not acceptable.

For a small business it is critical to paint a clear picture of who you are and differentiate your company from the competition, no matter what products and services you offer.

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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