You’re in the business of making money and building a brand — and neither of those achievements is possible without a customer base. Sometimes, that means stealing customers from a competitor, as well as growing your business organically.
But there’s a right and a not-so-right way to go about crushing the competition. Spreading fear, uncertainty, and doubt might work… but does it give you peace of mind? Wouldn’t you rather win those customers fair and square by delivering a better product and nailing your marketing messaging?
When we market our brands empathetically, everybody benefits — yep, even the businesses left behind in your dust.
Speak the truth, see the results
Empathy toward both consumers and the competition is the best way to get ahead. With it, you can win greater market share and challenge your industry to serve its customers better.
When we’re empathetic, there’s no space for empty marketing promises. We show customers that we get what they need and have invested time and resources to solving their pain points.
You may be thinking that’s all well and good but what does all this empathy and soothing pain points actually look like in the real world? Let’s turn to an example from a business we admire.
Empathy in action, a better business model
There’s no arguing that everyone loves sneakers and Saturday slip ons. But for athleisure lovers, fast fashion’s sustainability and ethics issues are like a stone in your shoe that you just can’t shake out. Certain sneaker and shoemakers have been particularly criticized in the past (naming names feels inappropriate, but maybe we should Just Do It anyway?) — and have also been remarkably slow to act on consumer concerns.
That’s where Allbirds swoops in. They’re a sustainable, eco-conscious brand out to transform their industry — not just for the betterment of their customers but also for the planet. The soles of an Allbirds sneaker are made from either Plant Leather or SweetFoam: two materials the brand created for itself when other conventional options didn’t measure up to their standards.
Allbirds’ commitment to sustainability means eco-conscious customers can reduce their footprint… with their footprint. They make it possible for consumers to wear their values with pride whether they’re running a marathon or strolling through the Farmers’ Market.
That’s the kind of empathy that crushes the competition. When you can nail a customer’s needs — or, better, offer them an improved solution they hadn’t even thought of yet — you make the choice to switch easy. It’s not hard to choose when customers decide between Option A) the business that forces the consumer to adapt to use, or Option B) the business consumers can trust to look out for their needs and innovate on their behalf.
Challenge your whole sector to level-up
Champions set the pace and give the “also-rans” something to strive for. So whenever you find yourself doubting this competitive approach, think of it as a service to your industry instead of a customer steal. What would a worthy adversary do when witnessing customers migrate to your business? They’d take their time to regroup and rethink. Then they’d try to take back their customers with better products, better advertising, and a better experience.
Ultimately competing for customers leads to more innovation and better products. By taking market share from your rivals, you’re actually helping improve the market as a whole. It’s a positive, self-fulfilling cycle.
Your challenge, then, is to make sure you stay at the front of the pack. We don’t want to end up playing a never-ending game of tag.
Marketing messages with empathy
It’s your marketing message that creates the difference between a teardown and a takedown. Emblazon your digital channels with smears and openly name the companies you’re looking to crush, and you’re unlikely to make any friends (or keep customers).
But if you focus your advertising on what the customer stands to gain by using your superior product or service, that’s just better marketing.
Better still, digital media has made it easier than ever to capture the attention (and, ideally, loyalty) of consumers who currently buy from your rivals. A keyword-focused Google ad here, a sponsored social post there — these things all amount to nudges in the right direction.
Long gone are the days of hiring a billboard or buying a 60-second spot on prime time TV. Winning new business is a longer (but no less effective) game now — one that we at James & Matthew know how to play.
Let’s crush the competition together
If you’re thinking this all sounds like a delicate balancing act — one you simply don’t have time for on top of everything else — we get it. But if there’s one thing we can do, it’s getting your brand in the race.
JXM’s team of seasoned advertising professionals have surpassed their fair share of weaker competition. By your side, we can work together to find your ultimate selling point, connect to a deeper consumer need, craft the marketing message that blows everyone else out of the water, and keep on delivering results.
If you want to crush your competitors and leap to the front while holding your head high, then let’s talk tactics today.