Working with a company this week where we spent some time talking about competitors that lie - or at least make claims that aren't entirely true. I have an opinion about one way to deal with that 1/
I've worked at companies where we were worried about making a claim because "Everyone says they do that - be we ACTUALLY do it! Nobody will believe we're different!" 2/
The good news about this situation is that it's a signal there's demand - why make up a claim that doesn't resonate with buyers? The bad news is those same buyers might be learning that nobody actually does it (at least not in the way customers wish they would) 3/
If your product delivers on a claim in a way that is significantly different, I think you have an opportunity to position your competitors in a way that highlights the hole in their claim 4/
Example: You have an integrated platform that provides big benefits as a result of shared data across the parts. Your large competitor grew by acquisition. Their "platform" is really a set of disjointed piece parts - they can't really deliver "platform" benefits. 5/
Your positioning can highlight alternatives- i.e. "There are best of breed products that don't deliver the benefit of shared data. There are also multi-product "solution" vendors where you get all the pieces from one vendor, but the underlying data is still separate" 6/
You can only do this if it's the truth obviously. If you try to fight half-truths with half-truths, the bigger company wins because they still look like a "safer" choice. But truth can be proven - "let me show you what we can do with our shared data that the others can't" 7/
We tend not to highlight alternatives because we hope customers only see us. But if there's well-known competition, there's no risk in addressing the elephant in the room. Your customers are doing research - they know them already. And you don't have to call them out by name. 8/
The risk in pretending there is no competition is your competitors now have the opportunity to position you and control the narrative. Addressing the alternate ways of solving the problem gives you a chance to teach customers another way to think about solutions in the market 9/
This isn't about taking cheap shots at your competitors. It's about teaching customers a way to think about all the different approaches to solving their problem. That teaching can be hugely helpful to customers and will help you build trust with skeptical buyers. /end
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