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Element 5. Good Competition > Relevance—Why Add This Element?

Relevance—Why Add This Element?

Even a weak competitor can confirm that there are customers willing to pay for your product or service. Your prospective customers are likely to understand very well how your product or service behaves. However, note that your competitor may also be offering features and benefits that are inferior to yours and when you arrive, you could confirm the market wisdom of your product and attract a competitor who attempts to sneak up on you in the market and steal your customers (I call this an ambush; we talk about it on p. 89). Like a chameleon, they could change from good to bad overnight. Good competitors exist often but their reactions must also be anticipated. You must calculate now, up front, if these people are capable of turning on you and obliterating your ability to seize market share.

Perhaps most importantly, if properly timed and powered, your marketing campaign could result in an abrupt and irreversible market shift toward your product and away from theirs. Remember, they are “good” because they are so bad. They are essentially incompetent, or at least incapable of managing their business in the space you hope to conquer. Customers who feel cheated by your “good” competitors have a reservoir of demand for your competing product or service that works well for you. You must be able to serve all of them quickly to exploit the situation. And don’t forget to bring long-term agreements for them to sign. This will prevent their migration back to the competition.


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