Your competition isn’t who you think it is


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Your customers enjoy greater and faster access to new products and services every day — from apps to wearable devices to co-created solutions. And you compete with all of them. Even if they don’t compete with you.

What do I mean? How we access information and interact with companies is changing. Consider:

  • One of my go-to weather apps is Dark Sky. It’s an algorithmic masterpiece that predicts the likelihood of rain in my exact location down to the minute. And most of the time it’s right.
  • I no longer look at my phone when it rings, or when I get a text message or reminder alert. I glance at my wrist [or rather the Pebble watch that’s on it] and decide whether I need to go to all the effort of reaching into my pocket to grab my phone.
  • I buy $2 and $3 products via Amazon Prime with a single click and get them shipped for free within a couple of days.

But you don’t compete with a weather app, a bluetooth watch, or even Amazon, right?

Well, you might not compete with them directly. But, I increasingly expect every company that I interact with to understand the context of where I am and provide me relevant information, just like Dark Sky. I expect my experience with products to make my life easier or better, the way my Pebble does. And, I want the convenience end cost effectiveness of buying even small items and having them shipped without the shipping costing more than the item I’m buying.

In other words, I increasingly expect you to deliver an experience that competes with Amazon, and Apple, and Disney, and USAA, and Zappos, and Jet Blue, and so on. It doesn’t matter whether you compete with these companies directly. They’ve raised the bar of what I, as a consumer and customer, expect. And if you can’t match those expectations, my impression of you has diminished and I’m more likely to consider one of your actual competitors than I was before.

If you’re not already, it’s time to start benchmarking yourself against the best-in-class, customer oriented business, not just against your traditional competitors.



Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Frankland
Dave is an independent consultant, published author (Marketing to the Entitled Consumer), and former-Forrester research director who has helped scores of companies architect winning customer strategies. He has worked with companies as diverse as Fortune 50 enterprises and fledgling startups to help define desired customer relationships; recognize gaps, barriers, and opportunities; and build roadmaps, establish processes, and identify metrics to measure and demonstrate success.


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