The beautiful looking, new building had finally gone up. It is on a busy highway, adjacent to our long standing, neighborhood Costco. For some time, we didn’t know what the building would be – finally signs went up – it was going to be a new Discount Tire store.
Just what we need, I thought… another tire place….
Then one day I drove by when the store finally opened. There is only one sign in the window for advertising of any kind (other than the name on the building) – it says, in big, bold, red letters: WE BEAT COSTCO.
I happen to love my local Costco. Something in my loyal customer genes tells me that I shouldn’t want to go anywhere that wants to beat Costco. I am compelled to tell others about this negative way of marketing.
Sometimes we bash our competitors…. other times we just focus people on them, in this case. I’ve always had a hard time helping companies focused on price to build up more of a value proposition. My immediate thought, when I read the sign that said, WE BEAT COSTCO, was that they don’t. They may have a lower price, by a number of dollars or cents, but they don’t have the programs in place or the retail presence, or the ease of shopping for other things, or the known return policy that Costco does. Not that I’m going to return tires – the point is that it gets my logical brain thinking instead of appealing to my emotion.
It’s not unlike someone opening next door to Starbucks and saying, WE BEAT STARBUCKS. You may have lower prices, but I guarantee you don’t have the coiffed and created Starbucks ambience and experience that they do. I’m not saying they are better – I’m just saying that the best way to compete is on your own merits, not taking a stab at someone else. An independant coffee house may well have a better tasting brewed coffee, or better store layout, or a no-cost WIFI service, like our local Tully’s does. Tully’s is more of a regional giant than an international one as Starbucks is. They have different products and services – and have found their niche – rather than beating down the giant international competitor. I think they are finding their way, more and more.
By focusing on your own strengths, and not focusing on your industry counterparts – you are more likely to build up a clientele based on service and value – than by touting that you’re a lower price than your neighbor.