Keeping an eye on the competition should be part of your brand strategy. Our Social Media Marketing Team shares their thoughts on competitor scrutiny and how too much obsessing over your competition can damage your brand.
Know Your Competition
Knowing your competition is essential for any brand or business. Take time to acknowledge who your competition is and then create a list of your USPs (Unique Selling Points). What makes you different from Brand B, C or D? It is these pointers that should form the basis of your marketing plan, not trying to emulate your closest competitors.
Learn But Don’t Copy
Learning from your competitors is good. Copying your competitors is not. By watching the competitors’ brand, you may discover some valuable lessons. However, copying everything they do won’t help you build your own distinct tone of voice and may blur the lines between what sets you apart from your competitors.
Take inspiration from your competition, but translate through your own brand’s unique narrative to clearly differentiate. By copying you are merely reinforcing your competitor’s strength by confusing the consumer into thinking they saw their brand, not yours. Every brand has its own strategy and plan.
If you are always one step behind your competitor, you’ll never overtake them.
Watch But Don’t Obsess
Watching your competitors from afar is good, but obsessing over every aspect of your competition is unhealthy and an unwelcome distraction to your brand. Small start-ups are particularly susceptible to this, as they try and build a share of the marketplace amongst the more prominent, more established brands.
Your business plan should have a healthy marketing plan that is unique to your business. Stay focused on your own marketing plans and acknowledge your competition but don’t spend hours obsessing about their every move and every Facebook post.
Use the energy to spur on your own successful business, not drain the life out of your own business. Remember, what works for one brand may not work for another, no matter how similar the product or brand. Your competition is focusing their energy on their brand, make sure you apply the same principles to your own company.
Carve your own path and develop a brand personality that comes naturally to you. Staying true to your vision and direction, without too much competitor distraction, will give you a strong focus and ultimately allow you to create an authentic brand story that consumers will trust and buy into.
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