We like to operate with some key high-level views when it comes to our market landscape and our approach to engaging in it.
Always take the high road. Kill them with kindness. Rising tides floats all boats. Respect everyone. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Some of our larger competitors didn’t (and still don’t) treat us this way and now that we’re becoming a larger player, we have a crisp and clear memory. Respect is a two way street and there should always be respect.
Don’t get me wrong, we’re as competitive as they come when the gloves come off and we’re in a street fight to earn a new customer’s business. My sales team might hate me for saying this, but it’s okay not to win them all. Of course we’ll always try, but in every competitive deal, you learn something valuable for the next one.
For a good space to exist, it takes competition, choice, leaders, and followers and many successful companies to grow, thrive, and find their place. It’s very rare when one monopoly owns a market and in the end it creates complacency and greed.
Markets aren’t won, they’re lead.
To stay in the lead is the moving target with no finish line in sight.
Would Nike be as successful as it is without Adidas, Reebok, and Puma?
Would McDonald’s be as big if not for Burger King and Wendy’s?
Coca-Cola vs. Pepsi; beer kings without craft beer; HP, Dell, Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Apple, IBM, Oracle all compete in different ways. The correlations go on and on.
How do you view competitors? My advice is to always be human, honest, real, supportive and transparent. In the long run, your company and the market you’re in will be better for it.