Ever noticed how many companies claim to be number one in their sector? So frequently has the term ‘market-leading’ been bandied around it’s actually lost all meaning. Competitor intelligence is the answer.
Here’s why. Not everyone can be number one. Rules change over time and things never stay the same. This is abundantly clear when you look at the companies on the FTSE100 now compared to 10 years ago – there are major differences and some notable disappearances.
if being first in your sector now has little cache, perhaps a better goal is not to beat your competitors, but instead to outlast them. After all, being first at the 400 metre mark of a marathon won’t necessarily help you win the race. Go too quickly and you’re more likely to hit the wall.
Solution: maintain your resources
Outlasting your competitors brings your strategic direction to the fore. A good starting point is to look at the activities which could damage your ability to outlast your competitors.
An example is your pricing, and not dropping your prices just because your competitor has. Lower prices may be damaging. They may be unsustainable. Most of all, they may be unnecessary. If you understand why your competitors are doing what they’re doing, you don’t need to react to their every move. So while your competitors may be doing some great things, you should only look to better what they are doing if they do not damage what you stand for and your most valuable tool, your resources. Protect your ethics, and you can outlast your competitors, without the distraction of artificially leading them.