Should You Focus on Your Competitor’s Brand? 7 Things to Remember

Personal Branding
How much time should you focus on making your own brand great vs. monitoring the competition?
The following answers are provided by members of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. You Don’t Have to Spy on the Competition

“A request for sharing information with other entrepreneurs, even those in your industry, does not mean they will steal your competitive advantage. Often the help you’ll give and receive — like with branding — are concerns that are common to all entrepreneurs, and it’s not as if they can steal your logo. Before you waste energy monitoring the competitions’ branding, consider sharing information.”

Elle KaplanLexION Capital

2. Don’t Spend Too Much Time Looking Back

“When you take a look back at the competition, you lose forward momentum and that pulls time away from working on your business. While it’s important to know what your competition is doing, you can’t dwell on it. Check in periodically, as it can help spark some new creative ideas, but don’t let it consume you. Focus more on innovation and you will never have to worry about competition.”

Jonathan LongSexy Smile Kit

3. Use Automation to Help You Manage Both

“Obviously your most important priority is managing your own brand, but you need to know what the competition is doing to keep one step ahead of them. Use automation technology to keep track of both. This will relieve you of the time-consuming tasks of culling information and will present it to you in an easily digestible piece of information that you can use to make better business decisions.”

Nicole MunozStart Ranking Now

4. Only Look at the Competition to Find Ways to Do Things Better

“To some extent, the two go hand-in-hand. I’m mainly concerned with building my own brand, but looking at other businesses helps me identify ways to do things better. My own credit reporting bureau employs unique strategies so we don’t really have direct competitors. However, I still keep a close watch on the industry to make sure I’m delivering the best possible services.”

Shawn PoratScorely

5. Stick to the 80/20 Rule

“We have an 80/20 rule. Eighty percent should be focused on making your branding great, and 20 percent should be monitoring the competition to better understand who they are attracting and why in order to better your brand.”

Bryanne LawlessBLND Public Relations

6. Think Bigger

“I think it’s more valuable to study what leaders in your respective industry are doing, not necessarily your direct competition in your region. Though there are realistic constraints to try and emulate what industry leaders are doing (budget, workforce, bandwidth etc.), how can you take those high-level success strategies and implement them to position your company as the leader among the competition?”

Steve Gentile, Pinpoint Promotions

7. If You Make Your Brand Great, There’s No Need to Worry About Competition

“To paraphrase Jeff Bezos, you should worry all the time — but only about your customers, not competitors. Here’s my business partner’s analogy, “There are two ways to build the world’s tallest building: Focus on building the tallest building, or spend your time knocking down every other building in the world. Which do you think is more efficient and practical?””

Erik HubermanHawke Media