The Value of Competition 

 September 22, 2020

By  Aspen Norton


Milton Snavely Hershey, the creator of the Hershey Chocolate company, said “When I first started making chocolate I didn’t follow the policies of those already in the business. If I had, I would never have made a go of it. Instead, I started out with the determination to make a better nickel chocolate bar than any of my competitors made, and I did so.”

Mr. Hershey wanted to produce a better quality chocolate bar than his competition but for the same price his competitors were selling theirs for.

DISCUSS: What are some other competitive strategies in business?

  • Offering the same quality at a lower price
  • Offering unique features (like adding peanuts or pretzels or caramel to a chocolate bar)
  • Offering a social good along with a physical good can also differentiate you from your competition (Ex. Ben & Jerry’s runs on a unique model)
  • Catering to a niche that very few others serve (like “big and tall” clothing stores)

DISCUSS: Is competition a good thing? How does a competitor help you to grow?

  • As competitors offer something you don’t, you can consider adding it to your product to make it better
  • Competition incentivizes innovation and quality so the best products and quality win out over time
  • Helps you look for underserved markets so you can provide your goods to people that might not currently have their needs met

DISCUSS: What is a downside to competition?

  • If you hyper-focus on your competition and what they are doing so you can counter it, you might lose sight of your own customer’s needs. Your customers should be your primary concern.
  • Focusing too much on competition will just make you look like your competitor’s products


(Featured image by Alphaspirit @123rf.com)

Aspen Norton

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