Competitive Intelligence Does Not Mean Beating Yourself up Over Your Competitors

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Competitive intelligence does not mean beating yourself up over your competitors.

Something cropped up over the weekend after an email exchange with a client. It’s a concept we’ve been thinking a lot about for a while. Businesses get into trouble and stress everywhere. Usually, as a result of unreasonable customer demands*. Or competitors making it hard for them and forcing them to cut prices to compete or go the extra mile to beat them. People are screwing around with them face-to-face or on social media. Letting you know what you can’t do. Doubting you or criticising for something you believe in. Or leaving negative comments that hurt you. After all, you live and breathe what you do. * but not our customers, of course 😉

No one can screw with your head

But the reality is, nobody can screw with your head with their judgments than how you judge yourself. 

It’s very clear to us. And has been for a while that looking at what your competitors are doing is critical. But using what you find to beat yourself up is no good to anyone. And you are using competitive intelligence the wrong way. Look at your markets and competitors in a way that isolates opportunities for you. A method that allows you to improve your situation. Increase your bottom line and competitive advantage. 

What is Competitive Intelligence?

Competitive Intelligence is the finding & critical analysis of information to make sense of what’s happening & why. Predict what’s going to happen & give the options to control the outcome.  The insight to create more certainty & competitive advantage.

So maybe starting today, stop beating yourself up! Your competitors and others are going to do that for you anyway. So you don’t have to. Welcome competitors trying to copy you and compete on price. Go beyond that and start cheering your strengths, value proposition and competitive advantage. 

Cut the negativity

Let’s be honest with each other, no matter how disappointed and annoyed you feel in yourself. Mad for not having that product feature they have or deciding something that is not going well. Annoyed and disappointed that you could not do this and that for a customer. Or get that deal over the line. Or a customer went elsewhere, or you didn’t finish that pointless battlecard. Well, that’s their problem, not yours. 

Cut the negativity… it’s okay! You love what you do. And you should love yourself. 

Being comfortable about your own position is how you’ll solve whatever disappoints you. After all, being mad and stressed is not going to help. Again, be aware of your competitors and their offerings. See what they are doing. Ask what’s the one thing you can do to tweak your product or service which will transform what you are doing. Can you tweak something a competitor is doing to exceed what they offer?

Just one question

That’s one question. Not a wargaming exercise (which are excellent), battlecard building, competitor monitoring, pricing analysis. It’s one question. 

It’s not usually about building a brand new product or offering. Many try to reinvent the wheel when a tweak can transform your competitive advantage. For instance, Apple doesn’t invent products. They develop something better that’s already out there. They may tweak the components in their iPhones or improve their camera. But they didn’t invent the mobile phone or the camera. They made it better (and more expensive 🙂

The real nuance here is about practicality versus ideology. So many talk about the business they are about to do. But they use this talk as an excuse not to actually do anything.

Competitive intelligence does not mean beating yourself up over your competitors.

In conclusion, being worried and mad at yourself will only get you deeper into the hole. Honestly, you just make a choice and tell yourself you are brilliant at what you do. 

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