Depending on what you’re striving for, on the road to success you are likely to face competition in some shape or form. The positioning that you adopt towards your rivals will invariably lead to you being compared to them. While there is a need to maintain a healthy respect for what your competitors do, you must also ensure you don’t just become a ‘me too’ alternative – just part of the crowd. Taking the time and effort to differentiate yourself clearly from others will provide a major boost in your mission towards your goal.
Conventional wisdom teaches us to benchmark ourselves against the competition, particularly in relation to propositions, performance, approach and achievement. But if you use competitor comparisons to shape your strategy, you will run the risk of failing to capture the imagination of your target group or stakeholder community as you will be viewed as one of the pack. You must avoid being just another ‘player’.
Long-term sustainable success is achieved when you align your unique qualities and offerings to that of unfulfilled needs of your audience. Paying too much attention to what your competition do will lead to you merely replicating their approach.
By developing such a mindset you start to view opportunities from the perspective of latent need rather than merely satisfying existing demand. Chasing competitors will feel like you are running the race constantly looking over your shoulder – eventually you will be tripped up.