To product companies: Focus on your strengths not your competitors weaknesses

In a recent job I did for a Swedish government agency, me and a colleague compared two products to see which lay a better foundation for the business process they wanted automated.

One company stood out in how they clearly didn’t understand what was important for us. When meeting their representative our first impressions was not of their system but of the competitors. In the first five minutes after the greetings I heard the name of the competitive’s product at least 10 times.

There is just so many things that is wrong with this. First of all, think a little about what you are doing with the trademark of the competitive. You are imprinting it in my mind, by repeating it so many times the trademark is soon very well recognized by my memory. This is just bad marketing.

Secondly, how do you think my perception of your company will be? When your focus on your competitors weaknesses and not on your own strengths? For me it’s a sign of weakness. If your product is good enough, the competitors weaknesses doesn’t matter. I’ll want to get your product anyway.

Also, if you have a pricing strategy. Make sure it’s a solid one. If you dump your price with 50% from the list price to meet the competitor what message will that relay to me? My initial thought is “If you can drop your price with 50%, did you then try to fool me with your first price?”. The business ethics behind this is just repulsive.

This was a while back, so why am I writing about it now?

Well the company flames the government agency with more trash talk about the opposition. Which have lead to me recently having to explain some of the trash as just uninformed, the company have wrong information about technologies like Workflow Foundation (claiming you can’t participate in a process using it for instance).

The agency representatives comment on this?
“I’m not sure I think that attacking the opposition like this shows good ethics”

Guess what effect that flaming had?

4 thoughts on “To product companies: Focus on your strengths not your competitors weaknesses

  1. I didn’t state nationality in my post. The other company being compared did however focus on their strengths and what they could do to help the scenario we where looking at they where Swedish for sure.

    Also, the feeling I got was that the first company didn’t have that much great to talk about and thus the only thing they “had” was trash about the competitors. It’s not bound to any nationality at all but to bad sales technique which I’ve seen in many countries.

  2. Yes I will definitely agree that each successful company must not focus on on getting the weakness of their competitor but they must double their effort to increase their strength level. Very well written post, I love it plus the samples that you provided,

  3. “Focus on your strengths not your competitors weaknesses” This is the best way a man should do to be successful in life. Thanks for sharing.

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