November 17, 2011

How many competitors do you have, really?

If you answered, “too many” or “way too many” or “crikey, too bloody many,” you are normal, worriedly normal, or weirdly influenced by Danger Mouse but normal.

Most companies (and cpg brands, job applicants, charities, tv shows, candidates, etc., etc.) feel they have plenty of competition. They’re correct.

One traditional (and often correct) strategy is to become visible to prospects, using a differentiator that is actually meaningful and relevant within the category. Tell that story creatively to delight and surprise. Rinse and repeat.

One alternate strategy to win out in a crowded category … is to create a new category. Why compete against 235 other widgets when you could offer the first and only sodium-free hybrid free-range widget?

For example, we just named a company founded by an accountant who has both CFO experience and COO experience, and so brings considerable operational expertise to the party. There are thousands of accounting firms, but now there’s just one Ops Accounting firm.