Can You Benefit From Your Competitor’s Overflow?

New Yorkers often judge a restaurant’s desirability by the length of the wait and difficulty attaining reservations. But when business people find themselves time limited and location bound at lunch hour, they’re willing to check out less popular establishments in the vicinity.

While I love Szechuan Gourmet, arguably one of the best Chinese restaurants in Manhattan, I met a friend for lunch at another Szechuan restaurant, Lan Sheng, located almost directly across West 39th Street in Midtown. Talk about competitive positioning!

5 Ways to position your product offering versus your competition

As I waited in the almost empty, serene restaurant, I wondered how many businesses could benefit from spill over from their more popular competitors’ customers. Does your firm do anything to attract your competitors’ customers who for one reason or another are looking for an alternative? Here are five points related to your product and its marketing to consider when assessing your offering.

  1. Proximity. This can apply to your marketing both online and offline.
    • Online includes showing up on SERPs for the same terms for both paid and organic search, in email boxes, on shopping sites from eBay to Amazon, major affiliate sites like, and shopping comparison engines like Kaboodle and TripAdvisor.
    • Offline this translates to having retail operations that are physically close and catalogs that are delivered at the same time.
  2. Limited space/access. While some products may have limited distribution channels and/or be one of a kind, consider other ways that you can offer the same or similar products. For example, resale shops and sample sales are one way to offer the same product at a lower cost location.
  3. Similar product at lower price point. This can be the difference between different offerings like Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy or it can be private label or generic versions.
  4. Additional benefits ranging from free shipping and handling, financing options (like “don’t pay anything for 90 days”) and special customer service (like Norstroms).
  5. Related services. This includes bundling products together, providing supplemental services (like Home Depot’s design offering), and giving superior product support (like TurboTax).

What’s important is that you expand where your product is seen by potential prospects and how you present your offering’s most relevant features to its target audience. And the vicinity of your most popular competitors is a good place to be seen.

Have you made this type of assessment of your product offering? If so, what else would you add to this list?

Happy Marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Photo Credit:
#159 the fountain overflows by Romana Klee

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