How to Destroy the Granite Walls of Competition
I strongly believe that if we are not forcing our own obsolescence, our competition is doing it for us. These words apply whether you’re a CE manufacturer, retailer, dealer or distributor. Each day the phrase takes on greater meaning and importance as we collectively troll through a rough-and-tumble business defined by constant change.
First of all, it’s an honor to contribute to Dealerscope, a publication with complementary digital assets that has served my teams well for the last two decades in our quest to build brand, accelerate product push and gain competitive channel advantage. My leadership experience as executive vice president of ViewSonic, senior vice president of Samsung Electronics, and senior vice president of Circuit City informs my CE-centric observations that focus on exploring and sharing best-of-breed practices that are designed to break through competitive granite walls.
Frankly, if you do not have a competitor, you should consider inventing one. Perhaps create a new sub-brand designed to compete with your own core offerings. This strategy can open highly viable opportunities for market expansion.
From a competitive standpoint, I agree with the sagacity of Andrew Grove, former CEO of Intel, who once said, “In business, only the paranoid survive.” The gravitas of paranoia, defined as “excessive suspicion of the motives of others,” is alive and well in American businesses—at least in those businesses that are transcending formidable competitors through channels of distribution.
Based on this definition, count me in as a card-carrying business paranoiac, or at least an aspiring trainee. How about you?
People on tenterhooks are usually highly focused, and with an unyielding determination to succeed. When you ask brilliant, paranoid leaders, “Why do you push so hard against the granite wall of competition?” the overwhelming answer is: “It is the fear of losing that drives my determination to win, to smash down that granite wall.”
Peter Weedfald is the Senior Vice President of Sales for Sharp Electronics Marketing Company of America. He has also served as President of Gen One Ventures, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer of Circuit City, SVP of Sales and Marketing in North America for Samsung, and SVP of global marketing and EEVP, GM & Chief Marketing Officer for ViewSonic.