Making Your Business Competitor Proof

Making your business competitor proof is a priority for every business in some form or another. But how? Where to start? What if we told you that the key is all in the brand strategy?

The whole point of a brand strategy is to connect with those most important to your success—prospects, customers, employees, etc.— in ways no one else can. When your brand strategy is working, you put your competition on notice. That doesn’t mean they’ll give up, of course. That’s okay, though. Where’s the fun otherwise?

But here’s a secret: Most businesses try to take over their competition the easy ways, through price reductions, gimmicks, or flat out exaggerated claims. Whereas that might make occasional inroads, it won’t last.

By focussing just on analytical decision drivers, your competitors are actually making it easier for you to competitor-proof your business. This point is particularly true now, in the midst of the global Covid-19 pandemic.

Take Apple. How many times did Microsoft or other vendors try to usurp their leads in any number of categories? The original iPod is a great example. There were tons of competing MP3 players introduced, but how many overtook the iPod? Exactly.

What about the iPad? Despite many competitors, the Apple iPad “still remains the leading tablet vendor in terms of shipments. In 2017 alone, Apple sold about 43.8 million iPads, while Samsung sold around 25 million tablets that year. Apple’s market share of tablet shipments worldwide was at between 25 and 30 percent…” according to Granted, that’s more than two years ago, but the trend continues.

Here’s why: We make decisions, all decisions, with both analytical and emotional inputs. Pricing, features, and other data points are important and may speak to our analytical sides, but the brand speaks to our emotional decision-making processes. By focussing just on analytical decision drivers, your competitors are making it easier for you to make your business competitor proof.

This point is particularly true now, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. Why? Because when whatever new normal that awaits us arrives, successful businesses are the ones that will connect with their customers through updated brand strategies that address customers’ emotional needs in a post-pandemic world. (See our earlier post, Branding in the Pandemic, for background.)

Start asking anyone with a relevant point of view what they think customers will need when the world welcomes the new normal. Do not assume you know.

Those who stay the course or focus on appealing to just their customers’ analytical sides will fall far, far behind.

So, this is your moment! It is your opportunity! Here are three ways to prepare your brand and make your business competitor proof!

  1. Ask. Start asking anyone with a relevant point of view what they think customers will need when the world welcomes the new normal. Do not, I repeat, do not assume you know. I assure you, you do not.
  2. Look. Look carefully at your business now. What do you offer? How do you connect with customers? Where do you foresee changes? How do they see you? How do your competitors see you? How do they connect with customers?
  3. Adapt. Now, take a look at what you can do in the future. Are your current core competencies going to meet customers’ updated needs? Will they connect emotionally with the current “why” behind your brand, or does that too need an upgrade?

I promise you this: Life will not return to the way it was before Mother Nature sent us all to our rooms to think about what we’ve done*. Only the businesses which think carefully about their brand strategies will emerge stronger, last longer, and remain competitor proof.

Want to talk this point through? Let’s! Grab a virtual coffee and a spot on my calendar.

*I cannot take credit for that metaphor. I stole it from a meme.

Spencer Brenneman, LLC
© 2020

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