It is wise to know what your competitors say and do. Sometimes it is good to be an underdog. A chaser. Look at the back of your competitor, who does not necessarily look behind and see you are reaching them step by step. Knowing your competitor gives you the opportunity to avoid the same mistakes they have already made. It also helps you to see their Achilles’ heel – what is it that they are not doing so well that you can?
Back in the days I was sitting in a seminar, listening to a professor from the local university. He said that,
Look at all the construction companies. Pizza chains. Hairdressers. They all look the same.
With this he left me thinking. If you want to succeed, you have to paint your own canvas. Although copying is the ultimate form of flattery, it may ruin your chances to talk to your clients. But why? If you go with the mainstream and look like the others, you put yourself into a position where your prospect can (and will) compare you without you being able to influence their thinking or decision-making. For example, if your marketing message is similar to your competitors’, your prospect will make his own decision and proceed with it. It may leave you hanging in a situation where you lose an interesting prospect, and the prospect ends up with a partner who may not necessarily be the best for him.
I have been observing the election candidates within the past years. If you take away their name, photo and the political party, they all look the same. Except the ones who have painted their own canvas. It may not lead to the best results from the voters’ point of view, but at least the candidate will be known, and, many times, elected. It is in his or her favor.