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Why “Ignore the Competition” Is Terrible Advice
Embrace competitors without losing yourself
Here's the latest idea that's gone too far on the startup scene: ignore your competition. Sure, obsessing over every move your rivals make leaves you incapable of having your own goals and ideas, but completely disregarding them is a rookie mistake.
Customers aren't clueless. They're always comparing products and services. If you're out of the loop, you're leaving your business vulnerable. And it's not just about having a good answer to when a prospect asks "How do you compare against X?" during a call. Your job is to know what they're seeing, so that you can decide what to do to make your offer compelling.
Instead of dismissing your competitors, learn from them. Studying what they do can provide valuable insights into customer needs and marketing strategies. As the popular book says, "steal like an artist" — adapt and improve upon their good ideas without becoming a copycat.
Competitive insights is valuable information for customer-centric companies. Use that information as you focus your energy on doing what helps you differentiate and provide better value.
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