Compete To Be Unique, Not the Best

  • Share
  • Read Later

Most companies want to be the best at what they do. But in the vast majority of business, there is no such thing as “the best.” Trying to imitate rivals will get you nowhere: It’s impossible to do exactly what your competitors are doing and end up with superior results. Customers choose different products and services for different reasons, and it’s unlikely you’ll win them all. Instead, focus on creating superior value for the customers that choose your company. Doing this profitably means accepting limits and making tradeoffs — you can’t meet every need of every customer. Don’t set out to win a war. Instead find your audience and capture their attention and loyalty.

Adapted from “Stop Competing to Be the Best” by Joan Magretta.

Visit Harvard Business Review’s Management Tip homepage

Purchase the HBR Management Tips book