competitors

The brilliance of this seemingly unbelievable practice was revealed by Polly Sumner, Chief Adoption Officer at salesforce.com.

1. Mention a Reputable Competitor As a Means of Differentiating Your Business

“We are different from _______ because ________.” The role of competitor description is to make you stand out, but it's important to watch out for the following things when implementing this approach:

  • Do not defame your competitor when you mention it. Renouncing others only detracts from your credibility, so try to focus on highlighting your products' unique features.

  • Keep the description short. If your competitor is widely known, throwing in a name is probably sufficient. If the brand is well known but the products related to yours are not, a brief explanation will suffice. Keep in mind that descriptions of your products should outweigh that of your competitors in both length and depth.

2. Mentioning a Reputable Competitor Can Improve Your Search Ranking

The more you mention a competitor on your website, the more likely your website will be included in search results for your competitor's brand and products. Through using inbound marketing to build the SEO authority of your site and mentioning competitor keywords you can create the opportunity to funnel search engine traffic away from competitors.

Search ranking, however, is also influenced by other factors, so putting all your bet on mentions of your competitor might be excessive. Besides, it's not necessarily a good thing to fill your website with your competitor's information; the balance should ultimately tilt toward you.

This approach might not work for every small business. If your competitor's products are superior to yours at this stage of your business development, mentioning them might put you at a disadvantage. If you are confident in the quality of your current or soon-to-have products, it might not be a bad idea to utilize your competitor's reputation to introduce to consumers worthwhile services.

These are two examples of leveraging competitors to improve credibility and marketing reach. Have you used other approaches that have worked well? 

 Photo Credit: Randy Son Of Robert

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Originally published May 12, 2010 2:00:00 PM, updated July 03 2013

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