Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos once said, “If we can keep our competitors focused on us while we stay focused on the customer, ultimately we’ll turn out all right.” Think about that for a second. Most of us were taught that competitive analysis was the first step in determining how you were going to go to market. Competitors were brands that we needed to focus on. But today’s business leaders understand that it is the customer you should prioritize, not your competition.
Better yet, I think you should look at potential customers as your competition. Every obstacle put between you and a closed sale is your competition. You need to focus on how you get your message and brand in front of potential customers, how you motivate them to contact you or visit your store, and how you are prepared to fulfill your brand promise and solve whatever problem the customer intends on remedying with their purchase.
Certainly, you need to understand your market and who your competitors are, but fixating on your competition probably means you are trying to outdo them with me-too products and services. Once you define your competition as your customers’ obstacles to making a purchase with you, it becomes easy to stop setting goals based on what your competition is doing.
Instead, think about your customer’s journey from realizing they have a problem (TV isn’t big enough, no music in every room of my house, lights are automated, etc) to every obstacle that will derail their doing business with you – are you findable on the internet, on social media, do you explain your products properly; basically, do you have a presence so potential customers can find you? Concentrate on removing those obstacles to make it easy for customers to find you, understand implicitly that you are their problem solver, and that you’re easy to do business with.
Let your competition focus on you, while you focus on the customer.