In this article, we would like to address those who became scary of the competition or try to emulate it to look like them. While everyone knows that the next unicorn won’t be Microsoft or Amazon and nobody needs another Google, there is still a tendency to be like my “brother”. Wal-Mart once said: “You cannot out Amazon”. And this is true for many big to small companies.
You have to focus on what you are really good at. Your company was built around and was started because of a specific reason. Addressing that reason providing the best product possible to your users is the only what you can do. Everyone has its own core, the one where they are the best at. People remember that core. Your brand is remembered because of that core. Diversifying, doing things left and right dilutes your brand, it dilutes your voice. Do that what you are the best at. Stick to your promise.
There can be 5 new competitors entering the market, same small market as you are in, but now more competition. Does it mean you have to worry? The answer is “no”. Because you never collect what the market is having, you always have a fraction. And because always one would have a fraction, your only focus should be what you are known for.
The numbers talk for itself, even Amazon has 1% of all retail. This means that 99% of it is done somewhere else. It’s the numbers game what people see as good or bad. In a free market, what you also have to understand is that the presence of the other people and their technologies is a non-zero sum game. What means if you win, I can also win. And if you loose, it doesn’t guarantee that I will win.
The worst one can do is to be a copy cat of someone. This can be a business if the market is big, and the good is a commodity and the price is the only decision making criteria. In a market where the market is small you have to be different. Small markets probably also don’t have a ton of competitors. In such conditions you have to do what no-one else does.
If everyone knows you but nobody wants to buy, it means you have not created enough of what people want. Staying dedicated to your users and committed to the problem you solve will enhance, not dilute, your brand. Doing everything won’t work. Whether it is our company or anyone’s else, you have to solve the problem with what you have started. Besides staying humble and asking important questions, you have to stay brutally honest with yourself and recognise that you do not have an expertise in everything. If someone is doing something well, it doesn’t mean you can do it, because you don’t have the same mix. Even if you do, it won’t be with the same flavour.
Below is a list of questions to ask to see if you have to worry:
- Is their vision our vision? If “no”, then ignore it
- Do they solve the same problem as we do?
- Are their values same as ours?
- Do they care as much as we care?
- Why do they care about us?
- The rest of the mix remains same as for any companies including P’s, etc.
In short, ramping around your core, what you are really good at and what makes you also the most fun to work with, and spreading this focusing on solving the problem, the problem from what your company started is a shortcut to building your brand.