The Two Sides of Every Industry

Competition creates business and forces you to think outside the box, be on your toes, and offer (hopefully) a better product/service to the consumer. If you want to beat competition and grow your client base at the same time, there is a right and sustainable way to do it and a wrong way in my opinion. Last week Kristin wrote an open letter type post, touching on the unsavory sales competition we recently faced. I wanted to continue the topic of competition and focus on 2 types: Level Competitors and Disruptive Competitors.

Level Competitors are companies that are in your industry offering the same or similar product, creating good competition and operating morally. They may give you a run for your money, literally, but it forces you to work smarter. Speaking from an energy broker position, Level Competitors create a better outcome for the consumer as prices become more attractive. Together, competitors who are individually working to better their business, the market, and consumer experience, contribute to a better industry. Picture a single line graph representing the consumer view of an industry full of Level Competitors. With consumers receiving better prices, better customer service, and overall a better experience from these companies, their view or feelings about the particular industry is a positive upward trend. Not bad at all.

Let’s switch to Disruptive Competitors. Again speaking from an energy industry perspective, even though these competitors seem to be everywhere, Disruptive Competitors bring destructive elements to a field. These companies may strive for quick sales to hit quotas without taking the time to protect customer retention. Market knowledge that pertains to the industry may be altered to win a sale, introducing the view of distrust from the consumer. Your next potential client could feel “burned” and not want to give your company a shot because of shoddy past companies. Instead of projecting an up-standing reputation to the consumer base, Disruptive Competitors could badly hurt the industry or even crash it. From a consumer viewpoint of the industry filled with a mix of Level and Disruptive Competitors, this line graph would show small fluctuations of highs and lows, trending negatively overtime. These companies may make a quick buck, but it won’t be for long, or even a large amount in the big picture. If you can’t manage money, reputation, or a strong moral compass, you’ll loose your “quick gain” and continue to fail in your next job or industry.

How is your company viewed in the eyes of the consumer?

Written by Eva Gerrits