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How to talk about your competitors (in business and life)

Competition moves business forward.

You can have good competition and bad competition.

Good competition is when all companies are growing, innovating, pushing each other to do better and ideally, in the long run, branching into different segments or sub niches of the market. True win win.

Bad competition is when products just stagnate, companies are spreading false rumors or even downright lies about what the other company does.

One thing matters though.

Competition is about attention.

And today, attention is currency. The more attention you can garner the more powerful your brand is.

An example from current events? Journalism.

News media are fighting a fierce battle for attention, for new and more eyeballs on their content. Some do it right, others play dirty. Spreading misinformation, click baiting people into reading and so on.

I was thinking about competition as I’m currently writing a few comparison pages for software products.

The structure is pretty straightforward:

  • Acknowledge what the competitor does right
  • State what your product does differently
  • Finish with why your product is better for a certain target audience or solution

And while writing these, I stumbled on the concept of “constructive journalism”, proposing to be the solution to the current news shitstorm.

Its principles are:

  • 1) Focus on solutions – don’t just expose problems but include potential solutions
  • 2) Cover nuances – avoid portraying issues as black or white but include the many shades of grey
  • 3) Promote democratic conversations – consider journalists not as aggressive prosecutors but unbiased facilitators that fuel curiosity and dialogue.

Look at these in the lense of writing about two competing products. This is ethical, good competition. And good principles to keep in mind when talking about your competitors.

Because your potential customers don’t care about hating another company, they just care about what’s in it for them and what you can do about it (that others can’t).

Plus honesty and transparency obliterate skepticism.

Good principles to use every single day, in conversations or when debating on something.

Want to learn how I apply to writing copy?

Get in touch.

Cheers,

Chris

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