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Competing Businesses Can Miss the Mark
Pre-2014

Business competition is healthy and can spur great growth if the approach is right. It doesn't really matter who ends up on the winning or losing side -- the customer benefits from it all since businesses adjust their products to unique, customer-driven packages with the aim of driving off its rivals.

As a result, consumers enjoy need-specific products, often at competition savvy prices. But there's a problem when businesses compete without thorough forethought.

Differentiation Bathed In Frivolity Backfires

Typically, companies that don't want to suffer price cuts compete via differentiation. Examples are electronic delivery vs physical delivery, customization vs one-size-fits-all, or emphasis on green-technology vs industrial production. Many companies use differentiation to meet a void. But when that differentiation brings about changes in frivolity, it backfires.

Consumers aren't stupid, and when they're treated as such, they'll shop elsewhere. This is exactly what happens when companies do things like issue free airtime valid for two days during off peak hours, or run irrelevant contests for t-shirts and mugs instead of what really matters: improved customer service, 24-hour accessibility, etc.

We Don't Need Another Logo-Branded Pencil Set

There's nothing wrong with promotions. The problem with frivolous promotions, however, is their desperation. They promote yet another logo-branded pencil set while completely ignoring things like new handicapped access, product insurance, or privvy access to beta developments.

Don't fall victim to the same. In lieu of a frivolous promotion campaign, stay focused on what will influence your customer base to act -- even if that act is a simple act of loyalty. If your competition fires off press releases left and right about the most inane matters, refrain from following suit. Refuse to let your competition's absurdity control your company's behavior. You'll not only gain a stead-fast increase in consumer allegiance, you'll gain the same in respect and word-of-mouth referrals.