Three Tips to Successfully Answer the Question, Who Are Your Competitors?

In the majority of interview’s I’ve conducted over the last 15 or so years the reporter will typically ask, “Who are your competitors?”

Quite often the answer I hear is, “We don’t have any competitors.”

Rarely is this the case. Just about every product or service has another product or service that does something similar. It may not be the exact same thing, but similarities are enough to consider or classify it as a competitor.

In my experience, most businesses and executives don’t like to admit that they have a competitor or know what a competitor does. This is a mistake in my opinion. From a PR perspective you should absolutely know who your competition is, what they do and, most importantly, what differentiates you from the competition.

I attended the University of Utah. Years after I graduated, the football program brought in Urban Meyer to be the head coach of the football team. Meyer changed the football program and turned it into a winning program that was enticing enough to be persuaded into joining the PAC12. One of the things Meyer wouldn’t do was mention the University of Utah’s biggest competitor, Brigham Young University (BYU) by name.

When the topic came up or when a reporter, booster or fan asked him about BYU, his reference to them was always the same, “That team down South of us.”

While he wouldn’t mention the team by name, he knew all about the program. He studied them and developed a game plan to beat BYU in its annual rivalry game. In his time as head coach he was undefeated against, “that school down South.”

In instances with my clients I encourage them to follow a similar strategy to Coach Meyer’s, minus the refusal to speak their name. Listed below please find three tips for answering the question, who are your competitors?

While every business wants to be unique and seen as the leader or best in class in their industry, it’s really not feasible to believe you don’t have a competitor. Don’t run from competition, embrace it and know who your competitors are and what they do. By dong this you’ll be able to understand the benefits you provide and what differentiates you from your competition.

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About the author

Jeremy Kartchner
Jeremy Kartchner

Jeremy Kartchner is a Partner at Snapp Conner PR and has more than 15 years experience in both technology and sports PR. In addition to his responsibilities with Snapp Conner PR, Kartchner also works with the Utah Jazz as a member of its Game Night public relations staff where he is responsible for tracking and providing game time statistics for local, national and international media and conducting pre and post game player and coach interviews. He’s a sports fan, golfer, father of three, husband to one hottie, partially bionic, cavity free, Olympics junkie and wanna be blogger.

Author: Jeremy Kartchner | Google+


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