I’d like you to look at all of the below-mentioned points and imagine these were all factors you, as an individual, practised on the next person:
- Are you keeping 24-hour tabs on what your competitors are doing?;
- Are you conducting continuous research and investing in the implementation of campaigns they’ve run in the past that has led to their current success?; and
- Are you poaching their current or previous marketing executive or creative team to source the origin of their ideas/strategy?
You’d probably conclude yourself as quite insecure – I know, harsh but true. So, to take it back to the athlete, when looking at how fast, ahead, or behind your competition is, you tend to lose focus on the pacing strategy you’ve practised for the great run.
Yes, you might not be ahead of the other athletes on the second lap, but they are unaware of your stamina capacity that you have left for the victory lap. As a brand custodian, my biggest concern is watching a client investing so much time on how they should be countering the execution of their competitors – why do you care so much?
Working on your strengths as opposed to investing time in your competitor review can throw you off from seeing the beauty in the uniqueness of your brand. I say focus on your race and your strategy. After all, your fans came to watch how you’ve planned on running and winning the race.
Are you just ticking annual KPI boxes?
Going into the festive season, this is a question your team should be asking yourselves before approving the festive plan. The reality is that some marketing activities might not be necessary, and might be mistaken for being the core idea as opposed to them being an add on to your upcoming campaign activities. This can lead to poor brand execution, as things tend to be forced for the sake of just doing them. Alternatively, you could simply pick your struggle, and execute using mediums your brand is better at executing in.
For example, you might have the biggest of budgets but that does not mean throwing your entire budget into ATL will reap a successful campaign. See how Volvo proved this with the Super Bowl Sunday campaign – amazing stuff.
The South African market has become so dynamic, making it imperative to adapt to change. Does this mean your positioning strategy is then enabled by what your competitors are doing? If the answer is yes, then the direction forward potentially stands the danger of being executed in the shadow of your competitor.
To quote my favourite author, Robert Greene – "In difficult moment do not despair or retreat. Any situation can be turned around." This was directed at brands predominately targeting millennials. Gone are the days that brands should fear the mistake of brand message misinterpretation. If you find yourself in this position, choose to own it. Yes, own the so-called 'mistake'.
My favourite campaign that’s an example of this is the Chevrolet's 'Technology and stuff' campaign. Talk about turning lemon into lemonade.
You are unique, embrace it. Always.
For more information, visit www.avataragency.co.za. Alternatively, connect with them on Facebook, Twitter or on Instagram.