Yes, You DO Have Competitors!

It’s not unusual, when I’m meeting with a new prospect or making a presentation related to marketing and the issue of competitors comes up, for someone to say: “We don’t really have any competitors.”

My response: “Well, actually you do.”

Even the latest and greatest brand new technological innovation that nobody has ever seen before will have to think about competitors. Here’s why.

Direct vs. Indirect Competitors

When most businesses consider their competition, they tend to think of the obvious–their direct competitors. If I run a salon, the salon across the street (assuming it targets the same clients) is my direct competition. But direct competitors aren’t the only competitors we need to be concerned with.

We need to also be concerned with our indirect competitors.

Indirect competitors really represent “any other alternative” to what we have to offer. So, in the case of the salon, picking up a hair color kit at the grocery store represents competition–as does doing nothing at all. Any other alternative to what we have to offer needs to be viewed as competition.

Gaining Clarify for Channels and Key Messages

Here’s why: as we consider ways in which we will communicate with and attempt to influence our target audience, we need to think of all of their potential objections to what we want them to buy. We need to get inside their heads and think about not only our direct competitors (who they might choose over us), but also any other alternative that might keep them from our doors or our shopping carts.

Then, we need to write copy that addresses all of those potential objections. So when we’re attempting to appeal to people we’d like to draw into our salon, we need to talk about how our salon stands out from our direct competitors and why seeking salon services represents value, convenience, and a higher level of quality over other do-it-yourself options, and how good people feel when they do decide to get their hair styled or colored, get a massage, etc.

Basically, we need to sell. And, in order to sell effectively we need to think like our customers and think about all of the other options they have available to them and all of the varied reasons they may also choose to do nothing at all.

Who are your competitors?


About Us

Strategic Communications, LLC, works with B2B clients to help them achieve their goals through effective content marketing and management with both internal and external audiences. We work with clients to plan, create and publish high-quality, unique content. Whether on- or offline, or both, we’ll help you achieve desired results.

(Strategic Communications is certified as a Woman-Owned Business Enterprise through the Wisconsin Department of Administration.)

Stay up-to-date on the latest traditional and digital marketing trends and insights for communication leaders: subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter.

Recommended Reading:

21st Century Secrets to Effective PR

Managing Remote Staff

Direct Mail in the Digital Age

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Strategic Planning

The Everything Guide to Customer Engagement

Best Practices in Influencer Marketing

Tags: , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Complete the math problem before submitting a comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.