Don't Be A Copy Cat

Posted 21-09-2016

If you have seen something that one of your competitors is doing, which you think is really good, then please do not rush full steam into copying the idea. It could prove a costly mistake.

Yes, companies often become too obsessed with their competition and often look to emulate their services, website, systems and their advertising; they even try to poach their staff.

Yet to be successful in business, you can’t afford me-too strategies.

You need to be better and be different to your competition. If you end up copying the competition, how on earth can you be better or different? Everyone knows the theory, but still the copy trap allures many a great business.

Why Is It Dangerous To Copy

Some companies have a clear strategy of following their competition. This is, as you’d expect, a market follower strategy. However, I have never read about market copier strategies and there are differences to following and copying the competition; indeed, there are many dangers of the latter:

1. Your goals will be different
By copying the competition, you’ll probably end up delivering their goals, rather than your own. Make sure whatever you do is aligned to your own goals.

2. What if they are wrong?
Many companies copy the competition because they think that they must be doing something right. But how do you know that the competition have got it right? What if they have got it wrong, then you’ll make the same mistake. Even if they have got it right, copying their approach may not fit with your brand positioning and do more harm than good.  

3. It May Not Work For You
Even if what the competition is doing is successful, it does not mean it will work for you.  

4. You Won’t Be Any Better
If you copy the competition, it won’t make you better or different to them; which are key components for success. Think about it from a client’s perspective. You’ll be the same as others so the chance of being selected reduces. 

So if you want to be a winner, don’t copy your competition. Stick to your own goals and let the competition worry about you.