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  The business World is a competitive space. As a business founder, you will be confronted with brand competition and how you deal with them is very important. In time past, we have witnessed the most iconic brand wars across the world – Google vs. Yahoo; Pepsi vs. Coca-Cola; Apple vs. Microsoft; BMW vs. Audi, etc. In Nigeria, we have seen a fair share of brand wars. For example, we have, MTN vs. Glo; Star vs. Guinness; Etisalat vs. Airtel; Indomie Noodles vs. Golden Penny Noodles; Gala vs. Bigi and so much more.
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As a brand leader, you must learn how to choose and fight your battles correctly. And what if you are challenged by another brand, how do you emerge victorious in the brand war? In the business world, you either fight or go home. In this article, I am going to show you how to deal with your competitors. Here are four smart ways to handle competition while building your business.

1. Don’t Ignore the Place of Present and Potential Competitors

One of the biggest mistakes many brand owners do is ignoring their competitors. This is one of the most dangerous business lifestyles to adopt. Many do this to simply stay out of trouble and maintain their lane. While you want to play it safe, the business world does not reward safe players. Therefore, brand owners must do a market survey to know who they are up against to know frenemies and outright competitors. Find out how much they have raised; the length, depth and breadth of their product offering and the experience of their founders and team. You can use tools like Google Trends to measure the most popular and searched in your category to help inform your positioning relative to your competitors.
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It is very important to note that if can’t find at least three competitors in your space, experts warn that it is a bad sign. You must understand that it is almost impossible for you to be the only one who is offering a particular product in the market. It ere is no sufficient market that has made people see reasons to venture into that kind of service you are offering. However, there can be exceptions. There are cases where you have a unique insight or solution to a prevailing problem that has created a market. Or maybe you are disrupting an existing solution. 

2. Never Stop Sharing

In the face of competition, many brands fall into the temptation of not publicizing their business or the product they are building. However, brand experts have suggested that in the face of competition, being vocal and loud about your brand can draw the attention of the world to you and your brand. Moreover, many brands are scared of idea poachers, which is why they go underground. In the 21st Century business world, playing small can be counterproductive. Your goal when it comes to marketing and announcing your brand story is to reach your audience and get the biggest market share.  Big corporations have solidified roadmaps that are tough to diversify. Even if one of your predominant rivals wished to play against you, it would compel them to divert resources off of their current prerogatives to do so. As a brand that is fighting against traditional brands, it will be a nice idea to possibly publicize your roadmap for customers and prospective partners to see when and how your brand is prioritizing things. This will certainly give you an opportunity and juncture for us to flex your position and our focus.
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There have been cases where publicizing your roadmap can attract rivals to become partners.  When you share more, popular competitors may recognize how far behind they are in your industry and make you an acquisition offer to stimulate their roadmap or build out their team

3. Beware Of The Frustration Trap

Competition can be rife, especially when the market is heated up and there is limited space to grab. There have been cases in the past where brands played dirty due to stiff competition and brands were trash-talking their rivals. In this case, many brands were sued for lies and libel. Therefore, brand owners must be very careful not to fall into the frustration trap. Rather than wasting time and resources trash-talking your rivals, amplify your brand’s advantage to your audience. The goal is to get the customer to look your way. When you choose to throw stones at competitors, it implies you are desperate and can scare off prospects. When prospects smell brand desperation from afar, they will feel your insecurities, which can make them perceive you as less confident. Therefore, in the face of competition, maintain your coolness and confidence. Don’t show the world that you can fickle under pressure. Keep your marketing campaign issue-based.  Featured Image Source: Forbes
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This article was first published on 1st November 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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