Most of you are saying nothing, but I'll bet you're wondering...
In my brand-building networks, like the Brand Builders Club for instance, entrepreneurs and business owners are getting together to network and shake up their industries with groundbreaking innovations, discoveries and strategies. They’re getting ideas from one another and leaning on each other for advice. They’re sharing information about their brands and getting real about what they’re hoping to accomplish in the future.
And you may be thinking: What if more than one entrepreneur in the same industry ends up there? Aren’t they competitors? Shouldn’t they be waging a war against each other, instead of collaborating with each other?
Now, I’m not going to suggest that competition should not exist in business; to the contrary, it’s a necessary thing. I am, however, advocating comprehensive growth, with the help of a competitive, rather than a cutthroat, approach.
Let’s talk about how your company branding strategy can work to make your brand a market leader—even whilst walking alongside the competition.
A Wholesomely Competitive Company Branding Strategy
The chances of joining any type of networking or business support group and having only one person from any given industry are slim.
What are you to do if another builder, baker or candlestick maker shows up? Do you run from the group? Do you puff up your feathers and scare them away? Do you establish a close relationship in order to get an inside look at what they’re planning…so you can head them off at the pass?
None of the above.
In fact, if I were you, I would feel pretty excited if a competitor shows up in the group. There are a number of reasons why this will be good for your brand, and a number of ways you can leverage the situation to benefit your company branding strategy—and here are a few of them:
- Focus on Uniqueness: When you’re truly in touch with what makes your brand unique, there’s little need for direct competitiveness. You see, because no one else is just like you, with your innate gifts and talents, no one can build a brand just like yours. If you’re honest with yourself, playing on your strengths and doing the one thing you love most, no other brand will compare. You may be working in the same industry with other respectable (and successful) brands, but your ideal customers won’t be their ideal customers. Your goals won’t be their goals. Your brand will never be their brand, and you’ll be just fine with that.
- Growth, All Around: When you think of the big brands you respect (Starbucks, Apple, Virgin, McDonald’s), I want you to think of them not as brand-only builders, but as industry builders. Starbucks increased everyone’s appetite for coffee, and therefore, more cups of all types are seen at the office every morning. Apple has stirred consumers’ passion for technology, and now practically every household has a selection of digital devices. Virgin has restored people’s faith in the idea of journey, and so people are taking steps outside their comfort zones and travelling more—on a number of airlines. And McDonald’s has shown how a “trend” like fast food can adapt to changing consumer health demands, offering more healthful options whilst still catering to our cravings for fat and salt…and the entire fast food industry as followed suit. So what’s the point? The point is that when any brand grows, it grows the industry that it’s part of. That means whether you or your competition takes a single leap ahead, the industry is fortified, and that’s good news for both of you.
- Customer, not Competitor, Focus: When you’re busy watching your competitor’s every move, or engaging in a vicious price war, guess who’s suffering? Your ideal customer. He or she is feeling neglected, and it won’t be long before they throw their hands in the air and run to another brand…one who is prepared to ask them what they want, listen to them and deliver on promises. When brands engage in competitor wars (like price wars), they not only devalue themselves, they prove that their goal is not customer satisfaction, or being the brand they want to see in the world—their goal is winning, and their reason, beyond that, is unclear.
- Offensive Play: Too many brands wait and see what the competition’s next move will be, and then they try to match it or outdo it. Again, this draws focus away from the consumer, and it does something else, too. It puts your brand at a distinct disadvantage. All of a sudden, you’re no longer a proactive innovator. You’re not focussed on your audience. You’re not sprinting out ahead, on your own path, with the freedom to make the decisions that will benefit your brand, specifically. You’re operating in a reactionary way, just keeping your head above water. You’re playing constant defense—and you’re tired.
Your brand is one-of-a-kind, working alongside other brands that [should be] their own brands, too. Together, you’re all building an industry. You’re building an environment that will be filled with enough ideal customers for all of you. Consumers will be happy. Brands will be happy. It can be a branding utopia, really.
Think this isn’t possible? Or need to experience it for yourself? Then join the Brand Builders Club, the world’s most effective online strategic brand-building service for freedom-focussed entrepreneurs of purpose-driven businesses.