New Insights on Dealing with Competition

Dealing with competition is a tricky issue. The blue ocean strategy calls for creating your own space away from competition. As I commented to a post on competition written by Jean L. Serio, businesses don't sell to competitors; they sell to customers. Focusing our attention to competition might distract us from paying enough attention to understanding customers and how to deal with them. The result is swaying the customer away to the competitor.

We have a saying in Arabic "show them a red eye", meaning warning disobeying people with punishment if they don't conform. But a bee doesn't see red color. What if a person is too blind to this color then what value it serves to show red-eyed color? The same reasoning validates for competition. A business shall only be threatening a competitor with colors that he doesn't see. What waste of effort this can be!

Your competitor might be a bee-like in hardly sleeping. The competitor is hyperactive and is alert to your move. It is only when the competitor is having a shot snap that you may attack him. Knowing the habits of your competitor serves in making timely actions. The competitor could be wasp-like and killing him may fire back at you. Approaching the territory of a bee or wasp may cause them to react vigorously and harm you and your business. You need to fully protected with clothes (and preferably white clothes because wasps are cool to them) before attempting to approach the nests of bees and wasps. However; it is this strong desire to protect their colonies that we may trick bees and wasps alike. Building a fake nest of suitable colored sack, which looks like a nest, shall keep these insects away. They are very hesitant to enter a costly battle by invading these "fake nests".


Your competitor might be smarter than you think and killing his business will only bring greater harm to you. Some insects like wasps when squashed release a volatile chemical that brings the attention of other wasps. Soon, the place will flood with them. Killing one competitor might bring along tens of them. Not only that as we may repel bees and wasps with sprays only to invite other insects that happen to enjoy the smell. Beware of repelling a competitor only to invite the unexpected competitors.

We make other mistakes when dealing with competition as we do in dealing with bees and wasps. The sting from either of them may swallow and look more terrifying than it is. We tend to magnify our fear. The competitor might bite us and our skin swelling because of it. The bite may look much more harmful than it is. We focus our attention and resources to deal with a worry that is not worthy. Β Β 

The above discussion leads me to say that as important as it is to know your competitor; at least equally important is to know your customer so as not to repel him to your competitor. Remember there are always alternatives to going into direct competition. Killing your competitor could be costlier than distracting him. Even though you may visualize the competitor as a wasp, he may be repelling other competitors away from you.
Be creative in dealing with competition.

Β I want to extend my genuine thanks to Kevin Pashuk for permitting me to use his photo as the background image of this post. Even the image shows a red eye which serves the purpose of this post; I eye Kevin as a great supporter and human. To enjoy Kevin's great photography I urge you to visit:

https://500px.com/kwpashuk

"""
thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments
Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#16
Thank you dear Pamela. I fully agree with your absorbing comment. There is a tipping point or critical level above which competition fire back. You expressed my views as well very eloquently

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#17
Tausif Mundrawala I am honored by your kind words. I appreciate greatly your feedback. Big thank you to you

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#18
Thank you as always Franci Hoffman for your continued appreciation

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

#13
Thank you Ali Anani. I didn't find the alternative to my liking. 🐝

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#14
@Anees Zaidu Thank you dear Anees and you bring a great example of passion and what it can do. You know that if you give the same ingredients to the same cooks with same cooking instructions the product shall not be the same. Your story testifies to this and the common eye is true. I greatly appreciate your knowledge and feedback.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#12
Franci Hoffman Thank you Franci and frankly speaking you are a super positive soul

Franci 🐝Eugenia Hoffman, beBee Brand Ambassador

The last line "Be creative in dealing with competition." says it all. Excellent article Ali Anani.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#10
@Jean L. Serio, CPC, CMC (sorrry as your name isn't highlighting) The last line of your comment is simply a gem. Balancing our view to competition is very well said in your comment. I love it. I know you may expand this into a full buzz and I hope you do. Balancing competition has never been verified the way you did it.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#8
Kevin Pashuk You have been very generous to give me the permission to use your wonderful image. In fact, if I need to learn more about the bird because it inspires me with another idea. Bees don't see red colors and to show red color to customers who can't see it is just waste of effort and resources. Like you noted "your strategy must be about winning (and retaining) customers". Knowing the customer is a big challenge by itself. Now, I show you the grene eye

Kevin Pashuk

Kevin Pashuk

5 years ago #6

Ali, great lesson from the bees. Successful business are those that 'find a need and fill it', not those who gain market share by killing the competition. While one must be aware of competitors, your strategy must be about winning (and retaining) customers. I wasn't aware of the phrase 'show them a red eye'. This goes onto my list of 'things I've learned today'. Thank you so much for not only showcasing my photo, but also seeking permission before using it in your post. Most of the photographers I know are delighted to share their images (especially those of us who are serious amateurs), but truly appreciate the recognition of their art. Kevin

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
Sara Jacobovici You keep illuminating my mind with your comment. To borrow from your Avis Rent a car story "I try harder to match your elegance". Thank you Sara for providing a living example on why we should creatively try harder to deal smartly with competition. I am your student.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#5
Sara Jacobovici You keep illunimating my mind with your comment. To borrow from your Avis Renat a car story "I try harder to match your elegance". Thank you Sara for providing a living example on why we should creatively try harder to deal smartly with competition. I am your student.

Sara Jacobovici

Sara Jacobovici

5 years ago #3

Ali Anani, I feel like I am in an online business course when I read your work. The 2 take aways from this buzz that come to mind after the first reading is, one, which was expressed in @debashish majumder's comment, that the dynamics you describe in competition seem to come from our more primitive instinct to survive and two, you offer us the more sophisticated alternatives to engaging in competition, 2 of those being: "as important as it is to know your competitor; at least equally important is to know your customer" and "Be creative in dealing with competition." An example that came to mind that I think takes into consideration both your strategies is found in http://www.createmarketing.co.uk/pdf/avis-case-study.pdf. "In the early 1960s, when Robert Townsend was CEO of Avis Rent A Car, he knew one thing for certain. His biggest competitor, Hertz, was spending five dollars on advertising for every one dollar that Avis spent. So Avis’s advertising needed to have five times the impact of Hertz’s. So Townsend called Bill Bernbach. Ninety days later, Bernbach came back with a campaign that casually admitted Avis was only the number two rental car company and promised: We Try Harder." This creatively bypassed the competitors and went straight to the heart of the customer.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#3
@debasish majumder Lovely comment dear Debasish. Yes, and this post calls for alternatives. The bee teaches us a lot. Thank you for your insightful comment.

Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

#1
Donna-Luisa Eversley- sharing personal experiences are very meaningful. I greatly appreciate sharing your wonderful experience dear Donna-Luisa. It is like testing the wheels on the road

More articles from Ali 🐝 Anani, Brand Ambassador @beBee

View blog