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)