Sometimes, competitors are a great thing. But most of the time, we’re not the biggest fans of them. Sure, we understand that it can be good for the economy. But when competitors engage in tactics designed to steal sales and employees? It can be hard to sing the praises of competition at that point.
Here’s a quick guide to the kinds of thing your competitors are probably doing to make themselves look better than you. Don’t let them steal your crown! (Or, y’know, don’t let them keep it if they have it already.)
Wiretapping. Employee spies. Hacking social media. Poaching client lists. Think this sounds a little too sneaky and action-packed to be a description of everyday business activities? You’re wrong. This kind of stuff happens all the time in the world of business. Competitors could be doing it to you right now. Better make sure you keep sensitive data off the cloud and all your research close to your chest.
You’ve seen this before. On a company’s website or in their adverts, they’ll throw some statistics at you that prove they’re better than the next leading brand. Of course, depending on the metric you’re using, you can make data-supported claim superiority over any company. It all depends on what information you care to use. You may see a competitor using info from both your companies, putting them side-by-side in comparison. They’ll always look better. But, of course, that’s because that chart won’t tell the whole story. Use data of your own and hit back.
This isn’t so much a sneaky tactic as it is a darn good one. The fact is that nothing will make an employee turn to the other side faster than the promise of a better paycheck. You can sit there and tell yourself all you like that your employees are loyal and will stick with you. But the fact is that most of your employees simply aren’t as passionate about the job as you want them to be. They may be very good at it, but they’re likely just in it for the money. And, at the end of the day, that’s fair enough. Salary benchmarking can help you make sure you’re not being outdone by the competition in this field.
A funny advert is a competitor’s way of saying “look how fun and casual we are compared to our competitor”. They’re trying to make themselves look like a fun-loving company that’s full of life. It’s a way of standing out from the crowd. This, of course, assumes that the crowd is boring, heartless, and ultra-corporate. If your advertising is dry, boring, annoying compared to the adverts of your competitor? Then you’re making their advertising campaign twice as effective.
There’s nothing more likely to make a business owner punch their television than seeing a competitor endorsed by a celebrity. Do you think Puma’s competitors were jumping for joy when Puma bagged endorsement deals with Usain Bolt? No – they were mad as hell. Companies are always looking to one-up each. That’s why Nike have stuck with Michael Jordon for so long. It’s why Adidas were so quick to sign, erm, Kanye West. Celebrities are one of the ultimate weapons of the business world.
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