Articles Tagged ‘Standing out in the business competition’

Could Competition be the Best Thing for Your Business?

Friday, February 24th, 2012

How much time do you spend paying attention to your competitors? My experience with businesses is they only pay attention when the competitor hits them between the eyes. Then it’s about reacting rather than being proactive. Sometimes it’s easier to be a follower than a leader.

Walmart was considered the worst thing to ever invade the retail market. But Walmart, whether you like them or not, opened our eyes to pricing and what was possible. Soon we were on our way to a new phase of retailers. Sure small local businesses closed, others found their niche and became very successful. The Home Depot and Lowe’s Companies have had the same effect on other industries. But many smaller companies have profited from the advertising done by these two.

If you study your competition you will develop your own niche or pout and pull up your tents and move. Success is what often kills business. Rather than realize that both success and failure are temporary they miss the winds of change. The winds are often fueled by their customer who they’ve taken for granted.

The key is to always be thinking, watching and asking questions and realize there will always be someone looking to dethrone you.

I think that Albany, New York is about to go through a supermarket renaissance. Soon we will have our own “Supermarket Square” around Everett Road and Central Avenue. It will be comprised of The Honest Weight Food Co-op, Hannaford Brothers, Price Chopper and the new kid in town starting the rumble, ShopRite. ( For those of you who are fans of Trader Joe’s and Fresh Market I don’t mean to slight you but they’re far away from ”Supermarket Square.”) Besides, without “Two Buck Chuck” Trader Joe’s is missing one of its finer elements. As Gary Vaynerchuk, who reviews wines on this popular video blog said, “There’s not a doubt in my mind that the two biggest things that have happened to the wine industry in the last 10 years are the movie Sideways and Two Buck Chuck”. Maybe Trader Joe’s will open a wine store next to their market.

Hannaford and PriceChopper have had a lock on the area for years, competing across from each other on Central Avenue. The Honest Weight Food Coop is about to move closer to “Supermarket Square.” What will happen to them remains to be seen. They have their groopies and Gustoff, the “cheese head” has amased himself quite a following. My next door neighbor told me she couldn’t have her dinner party until she consulted with Gusfoff about the cheese and the wine.

I believe Price Chopper with its “gas card” and community commitment as well as their wonderful new store left Hannaford in the dust. Funny because Hannaford started their Nature’s Place several years ago which really catered to the “natural and organic foodies” who for the first time had lots to choose from at reasonable prices. Then all of a sudden Price Chopper expanded and blew Hannaford out of the water. At this point Hannaford looks small and uninviting by comparison. Hannaford is definitely strapped by its small store and maybe by the Delhaize Group out of Belgium who isn’t familiar with the Albany market.
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Three Proven Ways to Drive Your Competition Crazy

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

The next few paragraphs are quite revealing, maybe even offensive to some of you, but I think they’ll demonstrate a valuable marketing lesson if you take them seriously and implement one of all three of them within your business or organization.

In my mind there’s no such thing as friendly competition. Every day we’re competing on the field of battle in search of new business, and either I’m getting the deal or my competition is. When I lose a deal it affects everyone in our company, including their family as well as mine.

If you have an excellent product or service, you should hate to lose. By missing the chance to work with a new client I’ve let them down as well as my company. Maybe this sounds harsh but I really believe it to be true.

In the marketing business I’m up against hundreds of media reps, consultants and ad agencies who are trying to swipe marketing dollars away from my clients. This is a cold, hard fact of life and I know the competition is fierce.

They could often care less about the initiatives I’m trying to implement and with this knowledge in mind here are a few ways to neutralize and keep them guessing.

Here are three ways to drive your competition crazy:

#1. Create and use a continuity program
#2. Continually roll out new offers and promotions
#3. Be fun to do business with

#1. Continuity program. I call this crack cocaine marketing. What do I mean by such a strong comparison of this principle to cocaine you might be thinking?

Simple: If you engineer your business with an effective way to keep your customers coming back again and again many of them will get hooked similar to a drug-addict, who needs more and more.

Obviously, this is done in a way to help your customers and keep more of their dollars with you and not the competition.

If youv’e broken through their initial barriers of skepticism and have established that you provide a valued product or service, then you should seek out as many ways possible to do business with them.

To prove how true this is and how addicted to I am to simple continuity programs, I opened my wallet during a recent seminar I was leading and counted several different programs that I use on a consistent basis with businesses I spend money with on a frequent basis ranging from my local salon, to national chains such as Great Harvest Bread and Delta airlines.

I don’t care what type of business you’re in, there are a million different ways to create continuity programs for your business that reward loyal customers and help keep competition away.

Take a look around you or in your purse or wallet and I’m betting that several companies have you hooked using their continuity program.
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