Your closest competitor just received exposure in a major online publication and then landed $5 million in venture funding. You are probably thinking that it is time to chase the editor of that news source and pitch your company to venture capitalists as well. Before you start playing catch up with your archnemesis, pause for a moment and consider this:
Your Biggest Competitor
David Cancel wrote a particularly insightful post on this very topic. He outlines that your biggest competitor is customer apathy. It is not the company who sells the same product to your target market; it is customer apathy – the indifferent consumer. Why?
For many market segments, especially in this post-recession period, your customer will be making the decision of whether or not to use your product or service or nothing at all. You will fight harder than ever to earn their dollar. Positioning yourself against the competition is not the solution.
Rise above the Competition
You don’t have to price your products or services below your competitors’ price. Focus on providing the most value to your customers and prospects. Define your company as one of quality, service and commitment to innovation.
In addition, make sure your business can be easily found by customers — this is equally as important. Not worrying about your competitors simply means that you shouldn’t lose sleep over who your potential customer will find first. The most essential concern should be to add immense value instead. Optimize your search engine listings, market your brand and put yourself in the position to be found. Upon being found, focus on the value of your company — and nothing else.
Prioritize your Approach
If your business is in a hyper-competitive market, your approach should be to first ensure that the customer can find you, second, that you properly convey the value of your product or service, and third, you should get your customers to take action by making it easy and convenient to make the purchase of your product or service.
Upon taking these steps, you will avoid wasting time focusing on your competition and redirect that same energy and effort into your customers. This is what matters. Regardless of how amazing or horrible your direct competitors are, apathetic customers won’t buy your product or service. Focus on the big picture and your business will be fine.
Photo Credit: © streetphotoru
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