Modern marketing is clothed in the language of warfare. Brands launch campaigns for customers, who are called targets. They employ tactics for these campaigns, sometimes with an ad blitz, seeking to occupy the high ground of the category. And, most importantly, brands and marketers view themselves in pitched battles against their marketing competition.
Understanding your competition makes sense. To analyze what they’re doing, how they’re doing it and what their results are. To gauge what type of consumer they’re appealing to and what stories they’re telling them. And to identify and understand their products and services and what their use cases are.
However, don’t waste too much time focusing on your competitors. Don’t frame your brand story in comparison to their offering. Don’t try to emulate them, mimicking their products, their language, their go-to-market approaches. Conversely, don’t aim to be the opposite of them, either.
Instead, focus on your consumer or customer. Relentlessly. Understand what their challenges and issues are and seek to solve them. Design products and services that purposefully address their problems and deliver value. Create engagements and experiences with them that delight them. And be conscious of the journey they go through in your category – and seek to help them address each phase of it.
No matter how strong your competitors are and how well they are performing, there will always be consumers you can excite, delight, and build momentum around. And a robust business available for a customer-focused brand that delivers for its users.

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