Strategies of Competitive Success: Leading, Not Following, Your Competitors

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Strategies of Competitive Success: Leading, Not Following, Your Competitors

How you perceive and engage with competitors can make or break their journey to success. The quote, 

“Poor companies ignore their competitors. Average companies copy their competitors, and great companies lead their competitors.” 

This quote encapsulates the essence of competitive intelligence. This article suggests strategies for competitive success.


Benchmarking is a valuable tool for competitive analysis. However, it often falls short of its potential because many users approach it with the wrong mindset. The quote above encapsulates the common pitfalls of benchmarking. 

Instead of adopting a proactive stance to lead the competition, some use benchmarking to catch up. To copy what their competitors are doing. 

Scramble to catch up.

The copy and catch-up approach is limiting. It restricts innovation and originality. Instead of seeking to set industry standards or differentiate, some focus on copying their competitors. They will find themselves trapped in a perpetual cycle of playing catch-up. They never truly take the lead.

To harness the potential of benchmarking, adopt a “compare and seek to go ahead” mentality. Rather than emulating what others have done, this approach encourages critical competitor assessment. Identify areas where they excel and strive to surpass them. It’s about setting ambitious goals. It’s about continuously innovating to become the industry leader, not just a follower. 

Leader, not a follower

By focusing on “leading” rather than “following,” you can drive genuine progress. You can inspire innovation and position yourself at the forefront of your industries. In this way, benchmarking becomes a powerful tool. It achieves sustainable competitive advantage and shapes the future of their markets. Let’s explore this concept further:

5 Key Takeaways

Here are five key takeaways to assist your thinking:

Embracing Competitive Intelligence 

Great companies understand that knowledge is power. They proactively seek insights into their competitors’ strategies, strengths, and weaknesses. Competitive intelligence becomes a cornerstone of their decision-making process. It allows them to stay ahead of the curve.

Leading Through Innovation

Rather than simply copying what works for competitors, great companies focus on innovation. They aim to set new industry standards and trends, challenging the status quo. By leading through innovation, they become market leaders rather than followers.

Adapting and Evolving

Great companies recognise that success isn’t static. They continuously adapt and evolve based on the competitive landscape. And they monitor shifts in customer preferences, emerging technologies, and market dynamics. They do this to stay at the forefront of their industry.

Strategic Differentiation

Instead of engaging in cutthroat price wars or mimicking competitors, great companies differentiate. They find unique value propositions and customer-centric approaches that set them apart. This differentiation fosters customer loyalty and long-term success.

Average companies react to trends set by others; great companies create their own trends. They shape the industry narrative, inspire customer loyalty, and command higher brand equity. Leading solidifies their position at the helm of their respective markets.

Strategies of Competitive Success: Leading, Not Following, Your Competitors

The path to greatness in business lies in leading, not following, competitors. Great companies leverage competitive intelligence to gain a deep understanding of their rivals. But they don’t stop there. They use this knowledge as a springboard for innovation, differentiation, and trendsetting. They become industry leaders, setting the standards that others aspire to reach. The quote reminds us that to excel, we must not merely watch the race but aim to lead it.

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