Monday, April 14, 2008

Who Cares What the Competition’s Doing?

You shouldn’t—or not much, anyway.

Last week, we touched on business strategies and hedgehogs and such. To follow up, here’s a column from BtoB magazine that’s a window on the strategies of leading companies.

Author Wes Ball gives us a snapshot of what his firm’s research uncovered about “alpha companies,” as he calls them.

Here’s the big idea:
Nonalpha thinking: Focus on staying ahead of competition.

Alpha thinking: Focus on what your b-to-b customers want to buy.
Of course, it’s important to keep an eye on what other companies in your market are doing and saying—but maybe only to make sure you aren’t doing and saying the same things.

After all, what’s good for another company isn’t necessarily good for yours. Instead, what’s best for your company is whatever you do best—and that customers value.

In the B2B game, your customers’ success drives your success. So we counsel our clients to pursue a customer-centered strategy, and make that the foundation of everything they communicate.

In other words, move the way alpha companies do. They don’t get mired in keeping up with the competition; they’re too busy focusing on their customers’ needs. So take a page from their playbook: Stay out of the “me, too” fray, and you’ll stay ahead of the competition.

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