This week’s focus: I’ve been in many strategy meetings where executives say something like, “We need to kill the competition.” There seems to be an innate desire to do away with competitors so that it makes your life easier.

That desire is wrong. A lack of competition doesn’t make your life easier; it makes it harder. Instead, it’s competition that gives you the opportunity to grow and flourish.

The reason is simple: competition creates a market.

If you want to sell make-up, for instance, the best solution is to sell it through a store that sells other make-up brands. That way, you have a chance of getting your product in front of shoppers who are really interested in make-up.

Recently, I was shopping for outdoor clothing in London. There is a small street near Covent Garden that only has outdoor stores. Far from seeing this competition as ‘bad’, the six or seven outdoor retailers who operate here know that the competition has created a gravity for any shopper, like me, who wants some mountain gear. And they also know that the bigger gravity has benefitted all of them.

So, as you think about ways in which you can get your product or service in front of customers, don’t think about avoiding your competitors. Instead, why not find ways to ‘co-locate’ or even partner with your competitors so that you create a clearer and stronger market gravity that attracts more buyers to your market?


Off The Record: The Only Flame In Town by Elvis Costello and the Attractions

I know a girl, got my mind in a mess

I never heard her say “Good night, and God bless”

She’s not the only flame in town

And when we’re alone we never quarrel

I’m miles away, now here’s the moral

She’s not the only flame in town


© Stuart Cross 2019. All rights reserved.