It’s a common fallacy to think that competition will drive your business down. Actually, where most businesses go wrong is to think that the absence of any competition will increase their chances of success. Competition is here to stay, whether we like it or not. It’s the driving force behind a capitalist economy, for better or for worse. And since we’re not going to overhaul our economic system any time soon we need to work within the system to reach our goals.
Be prepared for imitation
Imitation is the sincerest from of flattery, but is very frustrating when trying to maintain MSRP and brand consistency. Make sure your customers can distinguish your product from the fakers, in look and messaging. Recently our Wheel Woolies® line was infiltrated by knock-offs. We were getting complaints from some of our distributors that these fakes were making it hard for them to sell at MSRP. Our think tank of marketers, product managers, and brand police came up with a way to distinguish our brushes from the knock-off, a two-color brush head. We also did a push to all our distributors to help them inform their customers how to look for the real thing so that they wouldn’t accidentally purchase a fake Woolie thinking it was one of ours. Nothing makes customers more steamed than feeling they’ve gotten an inferior product.
Know your customers
Knowing how to market to your customer base could put you ahead of the competition. One of our distributors in Brunei, CarPro, boasts SSNo3 Detailers as their official distributors along with five other designated “resellers”. And that’s it. If you purchase one of their products from any other company they cannot guarantee the quality. It’s that simple. By keeping their partners close they can ensure their customers are getting the best. Creating this trusted relationship with their customers means they can sell more brushes in Brunei with a population of 400,000 than distributors in Russia with a population of 144 million. Wow.
Know that competition will happen and prepare for it
Everyone on your team should know that competition is both good and bad. Prepare for those lost opportunities and possible cheap shots from your competitors. If you can, coast on the successes of your competitors. But most importantly make sure any thing you do to combat the competition also makes your company better.
Because it should and that's always a good thing.