There is too much me-too going on. Copy the competition and you will deliver their goals and not your own.
Companies too often become too obsessed with the competition. It ends up being a bit of a herd mentality, and they look to emulate their products, their pricing, their websites, their systems, events and their advertising; they even try and poach their staff. The mortgage market sees this a lot. One lender reduces its rates and guess what, its competitors follow – or should we say copy, or emulate to make it sound better. Why Copy If YOU Are Better Than The Competition?
Yet to be successful in business, you need to be better and be different to the competition.
If you end up copying the competition, how on earth can you be better or different? Everyone knows the theory, but still the copy trap allures many a great business.
But what is the real problem here?
Some companies, have a precise strategy of being a market follower, following the market leader in many ways. But there is a difference to following and copying and there are many dangers of the latter:
1. Your goals will be different By copying the competition, you’ll probably end up delivering their goals, rather than theirs. With Money Supermarket, their campaign could end up increasing sales for their fiercest rivals, due to the similarity as potential customers may not differentiate between the ads.
2. What if they are wrong? Many companies copy the competition because they think that they must be doing something right. But how do you know? How does Money Supermarket really know that Go Compare and Compare the Market’s campaign is really being successful? Okay, the ads have a high awareness level, but there are many case studies showing that a high ad awareness does not always lead to sales.
3. You won’t be any better Even if what the competition is working, by copying them won’t automatically mean success. It won’t make you better or different, key components for success. Think about it from a customer’s perspective. You’ll be the same as others so the chances of being selected reduces.
4. It stifles creativity In today’s market, a bit of creativity delivers huge benefits to organisations. By copying the competition stifles creativity. Your team may devise the best idea ever, for a new product, service innovation or campaign, for example, but too often such ideas get dismissed because the competition don’t do it.
So, if you want to be a winner, don’t copy your competition, let them worry about you and instead focus on more strategic thinking – your market positioning, your proposition and of course your brand distinction.