Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Competition Competition Competition

There are three 'things' that will erode your business. Three things capable of destroying your brand's marketshare. Competition, competition, & yes, competition. Think about it. Whether you're running a dental practice, a communications firm, daycare or billion dollar brand - someone or some thing will try to take your marketshare from you...take your share of the customers from you. Competition. If you never check-in with your competitors, start checking-out your competition. Even if it's just twenty minutes a day - try to find out what they're up to.
Where are they spending marketing dollars? What is going-on in terms of in-store presence or packaging or how about their customer loyalty programs? Copycat 'em if you have to - but engage in some form of "competitive intelligence". Start monitoring your friends across the way.
I try to share this concept with my AAU basketball kids. Three things gonna hang an "L" on them: You guessed it - Competition times 3. I want my players to grow intellectually in the sport - not just physically. I suspect none of them will have the physical presence to play in a major college environment, but some may certainly play high school ball or D2 college ball, especially if they continue thinking about what they are trying to accomplish out there. A monkey can run sets and follow orders, but the crafty player knows what his or her competitor is doing. In the case of basketball - it's watching what the opponent is doing & reacting accordingly - naturally, instinctively.
How are they defending you, and then taking advantage of what's going on. The minute they take their eyes of you - the offensive player should explode to the basket, or maneuver in such a way that he can't be stopped. THIS is called basketball IQ - a knowledge of 'the game'. A feeling of what is about to happen and then making it happen. It starts with your competition. So, what is your 'business IQ' ? Are you monitoring your competitor's moves? Put competitive intelligence into daily practice.

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