“Smart people will play where the competition is weak” – SayQuotable
With an increasing number of transactions and interactions between customers and companies going online, it has become a lot easier for competitors to sneak in and catch a company unawares. Free and open source technology has made it simpler and quicker for websites and other online presence to be ‘copied’, and without too much cost. Hence, in a market where both winning and losing seem inextricably linked, it would make sense for companies to put in place tactics and strategies to win market share, eliminate competition and win customers – even customers that would currently be with a competitor. Previously, it would suffice to invest time and resources to validate and prove your value, in comparison to a competitor. However, with the business world becoming cutthroat, unforgiving, and unrelenting it would seem like the new mantra – eliminate competition and win customers – stands true and bold. The starting point of doing so would be for a company to thoroughly understand its customers, and more necessarily its own offerings and abilities, and be painstakingly aware of the value it would bring to the users.
There is no doubt today that to eliminate competition and win customers, every company must know and consistently display its USP to show why it is different and better, and why customers should stay and pay more for its products and or services. A company that is unable to answer why it is better and unique, would soon find itself overshadowed and unable to command any position in the market. To eliminate competition and win customers, a company would need to translate its knowledge, expertise, and conviction into a high value proposition that would instantly find favour with customers. This would be something that would ‘stick’ with customers such that any time they would require certain products or services, your company would be the ‘go to’ one, even if they need to pay incrementally higher prices.
The words and ‘spirit’ of this USP should convey that customers would be losing and compromising if they were buying from a competitor – remember, the idea is to eliminate competition, not stand alongside and ‘co-exist’. Do you believe that the USP statement of your company will help to eliminate competition and win customers? The USP must convey (we dare say – unabashedly) that buying from a competitor would be a significant disadvantage, and the customer need not compromise when they could easily buy from your company instead. It may seem sneaky, but a company would be praising its own products and services, and putting down its competitors without actually taking names or pinpointing any one competitor in particular. Of course, putting down competition will not suffice – a company must provide compelling reasons and key value points to show customers why there would be no one better in the market to give them what they want.
Top class service, and competition eradicating offerings are quintessential to eliminate competition and win customers. Both service and offerings enable a company to stay competitive and reduce barriers to entry – customers are quick to perceive inferiority in any realm of their association with a company, and then are unforgiving. The harsh reality however, is that even then there are companies today with the best of products and yet lose to other companies offering lower grade products at higher prices. The answer to this puzzle lies in their ability to market themselves and create extremely good and impressive value propositions. What must companies do to eliminate competition and win customers over? The fact is that every company would want to be the sole provider – that is have no competitors in their area of operation, and have customers believe that its products / brand are the only option available. It all boils down to skilful placing and promotion of the company and its offerings – this is extremely vital to the success of a company. Skilful positioning is about a company’s ability to offer certain benefits to customers that its closest competitor would not be able or willing to offer. Doing so then makes the company’s offer the only viable option in terms of value added benefits. Some of the most successful companies today for example, offer incredible levels of customer service, which in turn ensures that their customers would not even think of buying elsewhere!
A company’s USP is its skilful placing – something that is easily understood and useful to customers. It would need to start by building a unique and robust bond with a large section of its customer base to ensure a business that would thrive and be sustainably successful. Building bonds that are authentic and honest, with customers makes them like a company, leading to regular interactions. These interactions then translate to trust in the minds of customers, and when customers begin to trust a company it generates loyalty and brand affinity – eliminating competition becomes a lot easier. In today’s business environment it is not how big a company is or where it ranks against others – instead it is about making a mark, carving a niche, and displaying superiority in the realm chosen.
The thumb rule today for any business initiative is proactivity. The same would apply when the aim is to eliminate competition and win customers. By proactively facing up to competitors – meaning that a company does not negate the presence of competition, but instead shows customers that its products and offers are significantly better than the competition. It is incorrect to assume that customers would instinctively or intuitively be able to understand which offer or product is superior – they do not have the time, and would prefer to be shown why through compelling reasons. Be open and forthright – make a head on comparison for customers through simple and easy to understand checklists, demonstrations, and other visual methods. A prudent way to eliminate competition and win customers is by ensuring that they can never use the fact that your company has competition as an objection or hurdle in buying from you. In fact, they must not even acknowledge the presence of your competitors. All customers care about is that their problems are resolved and it would be the job of a company to show that it is the solutions to all their problems – the answer to all their needs.
For customers today, a company that can perceive and respond to their emotions would be the most valuable and useful company – and one that they would choose over all others. A company must make the effort to create products and services based on the emotional responses and needs of customers – these offerings would prove more valuable and would be used instantly by customers. Companies that can frame their offerings around customer preferences and their emotional responses and reasons would soon find success in their efforts to eliminate competition and win customers.
Even if your company says that it provides customized solutions, unless customers can see value in those solutions, nothing would be of much use. It is important to incorporate the ‘said value’ into everything the company does, in every message it sends out, and every interaction customers have with it. It is time to leave tactics of trying to ‘buy sales’ – it is the time to know everything there is to know about customers, the market, and your own products and capabilities. If you are passionate about what you do and place customers at the centre of everything, you would soon make eliminating competition and winning customers a habit.