Benefitting From Competition
There’s an old adage that says, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.” It will be up to you to decide whether or not competition is going to be an opportunity for growth for your business or a hurdle to overcome. Helping your competitors that have stellar reputations and remarkable customer service can boost your business’ standing.
Having competitors can stimulate the industry, increase promotional events, improve quality, and even help you retain your clients. In addition it allows you to measure your competitors more accurately.
All industries benefit from new companies entering the market to build up the industry. Not only does it drive innovation, but it renews and stabilizes interest. An example of this is Tesla. The electric car industry was there, and there was some interest. But the market was not nearly as prevalent as it is today.
There weren’t any innovative cars entering the market, and companies were doing next to nothing to stimulate interest. Then Tesla entered the market in 2008 with its cool-looking Roadster that got unprecedented range while being stylish. This new competitor in the automotive world sparked growth in the industry. It reignited the consumer’s interest and caused companies to get competitive beyond the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) ever-changing emission requirements.
Tesla’s entry into the market caused consumers to look at all of Tesla’s competition (which was nearly nonexistent) to find the product that best fit their needs. Tesla actually created a whirlwind of free advertising for every vehicle manufacturer by getting consumers to go on their websites to look for their cool electric car offerings.
When they didn’t see these offerings, they turned away. This forced competitors to make stylish electric and hybrid vehicles.
Competition drives consumers to your website so that they — the consumer — can make an informed decision on which company is going to fit their needs best.
Cosponsored events such as trade shows and fundraisers can help draw the attention of your competitor’s target audience. An example of this is an event called SHOT Show.
SHOT Show is an event held in Las Vegas, NV for the firearm industry. This show is set-up by one company but is heavily impacted by the number of competitors and their contributions. Two fierce competitors, Smith & Wesson and Ruger are prime examples of companies benefiting from each other being at the show. Despite the long standing rivalry between these companies, they draw in larger crowds to their booths at SHOT Show. These larger crowds offer the chance for the companies to showcase their products.
Events such as SHOT Show that bring competitors together give companies the ability to compare the quality of their product or service to that of their competition.
Sizing Up The Competition
Competition provides your business and customers the ability to gauge the quality of your products or services against others. This could be measured by the productivity of your workers, quality of your product, and customer reviews.
Without opposition your company may lack the motivation to increase quality control measures of your products or services. This competition forces a business to consider what they offer, how they offer it, and whether it satisfies the needs of their clients.
Using a SWOT analysis can offer an accurate description of your company compared to your competitors. You can determine where your business is excelling and where improvements need to be made in relation to your competitors.
Lead times can sway potential clients’ decision to purchase from or interact with a company. Reviews such as, “It took forever,” or, “They never responded,” leave a negative impression for your future customers.
When you’re unable to assist your potential client with your services, having a positive relationship with a competitor can allow you to maintain your reputation by recommending the client to them in order to fulfill their needs. Although it might seem like you’re losing a client, you are actually providing them with a positive interaction with your company.
This positive interaction is crucial for the customer’s view of your business and your future relationship with the competitor.
The blog on Cross-Marketing highlights the importance of carefully selecting marketing partners. Similar to this blog, selecting your partner competitors can impact your business’ reputation. If you refer a potential client to a bad competitor, they will associate your business with that bad competitor. They will then seek out another business the next time they need that service or product in the future.
When deciding on your partner competitor you need to take into consideration the reputation you want your business to have and if their business reinforces that image.