How to Destroy the Granite Walls of Competition
12 steps on winning in a constantly changing industryOctober 10, 2012 By Peter Weedfald
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.”
With this fear of failure powering our intrepid demand to succeed, I offer 12 rules of competitive engagement designed to fuel your team’s ability to compete, to defeat, and to break through every competitive granite wall:
1. Study your competitors’ advantages to prevent your disadvantages; study your competitors’ disadvantages to build your advantages.
2. Repeatedly invest in relevant research, and promote its value.
3. Analyze all local and global strategic and tactical product options.
4. Develop core communications and advertising that focus on and burnish the value of your product and brand in all relevant markets.