I was a complete wreck of a learner driver.
One day, when my dad took me out for a spin, an angry young man in a souped-up hatchback started driving right on my bumper. He was so close I could see the whites of his angry eyes and the sheen of his polyester tracksuit (this was the nineties after all).
Freaking out, I started to speed up. He sped up too. I went even faster. He did too.
At this point I’m starting to veer all over the road and my dad’s really regretting taking his 17-year-old daughter out in his beloved brown Subaru. So he tells me, in no uncertain terms, to SLOW DOWN.
‘Stop worrying what everyone else is doing,’ he told me. ‘Just concentrate on the road ahead.’
Is Your Competition Taking You Off Track?
I recall this story often when I’m talking to clients who are worried about new competition in their market. They end up:
- churning out 58 different new marketing activities in response
- becoming completely reactive to whatever the competition does next
- changing their messaging every time they communicate
- remaining in perpetual ‘catch-up’ mode
- losing sight of their own marketing and business strategy
My advice to them is always what my dad said to me: ‘Make sure you concentrate on the road ahead.’
Sure, we all need to be aware of the competition and not operate in a vacuum. But we also mustn’t be so reactive to what our competition is doing that it makes us lose sight of our own business’ strategy and goals.
Businesses that succeed are confident and consistent in their messaging and marketing. They move with the times but don’t react to every tiny variation in their marketplace.
So every time you check your rear view mirror for the competition, make sure you’re spending just as much time mapping out your own path. That means making sure you have a clear plan and sticking to it. It’s the best way to stay on track.