Celebrate the Competition

Coke needs Pepsi.

Honda needs Toyota.

Even Apple needs PC.

Competition is good. We need competition, not only to spur us to do better, be better, and deliver more, but also because of this one big branding and marketing principle:

What’s good for the competition is good for the brand*.

I’ve heard stories of the CEOs of competing products sending each other congratulatory messages and gifts when the other one hits it out of the park with a new product or marketing strategy.

Quality art is our brand. We are all working to keep it from becoming marginalized. It stands to reason, then, that when one of us has a success in our field, we can all benefit.

There are almost fifty* Broadway Houses in New York. The individual shows are the product, but Broadway is the brand. When Mel Brooks’ Musical, The Producers swept the Tonys, it didn’t put the other shows out of business. On the contrary, Broadway was revitalized and everyone’s ticket sales went up.

So, the next time you find yourself frustrated with the success of the theater down the street, keep in mind that while you may be competing for the same audience, that audience might have you both categorized as the same thing, and thus when one of you produces well, you’ll both get the bump in status.

Don’t bash the competition, celebrate them.

*The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries & Laura Ries
*Playbill.com

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