The Trap of Competitiveness

It is a frequent request from sales teams: create products that are more competitively priced or competitively featured. It sounds good and this kind of request has send product marketing and engineering teams off to create me-too products for centuries. The trouble is that is hardly ever works out as well as one would hope.

See, when you set out to make a competitive product, you have actually given up the one thing that might just be the key to your success: the ability to set the criteria for which products are judged and buying decisions are made. You have let your competition decide what is important and make you play catch up.

If you have the creativity and capability, it is much more fun (and probably more successful) to do something your competition isn't doing. Create a new product category. Solve a new problem in a new way. Sell to new customers in a new way. Go after a Blue Ocean or a Purple Cow, as the authors' suggest. Do something to set the pace and decide the rules of the game and then get your competition chasing you (or better yet, dismissing you as an outlier and you can be successful without them even noticing).