Being “competitive” is never enough.

“We need to be more competitive”.  Probably the most overused expression in all of business.  It shows up or drives nearly every presentation or meeting that I am in, and I hate it.

I hate it because it lacks real direction and meaning, or worse, is flat-out misleading.  Marketers will look at their consumer segments, they outline who is growing and why, and then mark the gaps between themselves and the competition.  Being ‘competitive’ in this context implies that the goal is to offer the same types of ‘features’ or benefits as your competition is offering –  and that this is somehow OK.

It’s not OK.  Ever.

Why?  Because consumers are happy with products that are deemed good enough until something BETTER comes along –  something that gives people a new reason to question what they are currently buying, and switch to, or adopt it.  You never get BETTER when trying to be ‘competitive’ – it only inspires sameness to match the other guys.

Be BETTER. Otherwise, your are just another similar product, offering no good reason for someone to consider you. It’s really that simple.

Ask yourself the question: “why is our product clearly BETTER for the people we are targeting”?  If you struggle to answering this quickly and clearly, your product is not only ‘lacking competitiveness’ but is not going to grow.  Go rate your product against competitors on all important drivers of choice, and make sure you have BETTER scores than they do.

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