Should You Take Aim at Competitors in Your Marketing Strategy?

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What’s business without a little friendly competition? No matter the size of your business or what industry you’re in, you’re bound to have a few (or many!) business rivals competing for your customer base. An effective competitive marketing strategy should aim to develop your own unique brand and make your business stand out from the pack. Sometimes this can even involve throwing a little shade at the competition.

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Ready, Aim, Fire!

So what exactly does throwing shade at your competition entail? We aren’t talking bar brawl level fighting here. You should be going after your competition in a way that gives consumers a comparison point to pick you over other businesses. Just be sure to keep it at the friendly competition level rather than attacking another business, because there can be a fine line between rivalry and downright spitefulness.

One of our favorite examples of a flawless competitive marketing strategy is Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel campaign. The campaign took aim at lingerie company Victoria’s Secret and its unrealistic and idealized images of what the perfect body should be. Victoria’s Secret Angels are the company’s long-legged, toned and tanned lingerie models. With #ImNoAngel, Lane Bryant took a stand against the unrealistic and sometimes unhealthy expectations for women’s bodies in our society. The #ImNoAngel ads feature women of all shapes and sizes celebrating their fuller figures. Instead of directly attacking or insulting Victoria’s Secret, Lane Bryant kept it classy and focused all the attention on celebrating the beauty of the average woman. As a result, social media is now full of body-positive pictures women across the country have uploaded of themselves with #ImNoAngel. Lane Bryant: 1, Victoria’s Secret: 0.

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Walking the Line Between Sassy & Snarky

When putting together a competitive marketing campaign, it’s important to remember that if done improperly it could backfire. You don’t want your company to be perceived as a bully or as offensive. Instead, your campaign should give consumers a comparison point to see why your product or service is superior to the competition. Your campaign should be memorable and invoke a rivalry, but at the same time, you should avoid getting downright mean.

For example, IHOP toed this line perfectly after McDonald’s launched its all-day breakfast menu using #AllDayBreakfast. IHOP unleashed a series of tweets poking fun at McDonald’s new plan. The all-day breakfast restaurant tweeted, “in other news… we’ve always had all day breakfast.” Later on came the real zinger: “#AllDayBreakfast, WHAT’S GOOD?” Reminiscent of the now-infamous Nicki Minaj-Miley Cyrus feud, this last tweet was a cheeky dig at the fast food chain’s attempt to make all-day breakfast seem like a novel idea.

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Get Started With Your Campaign Today

Contact the online marketing team at Turn The Page today to see how we can help you develop a successful and sassy competitive marketing strategy. Call us at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

Author Sydney Rayl

A fourth generation Jayhawk, Sydney Rayl has a degree in Creative Writing and French. After graduation, she put her degree to good use as a high school English teacher in France, where she enjoyed croissants aplenty. Turn The Page snagged Sydney shortly after she returned from abroad, and clients enjoy the extra dose of “je ne sais quoi” she injects into all her content, from blogs and website pages to social media campaigns.

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