Avoiding the Me-Too Business Trap

Date: September 6, 2013
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Every time I travel to Asia one thing strikes me.

A lot of businesses are run on ‘me-too’ concepts. Of course this is not restricted to Asia, in Australia we have plenty of them too. But in Asia…it gets a bit crazy.

You know what I mean…if one guy opens a store and does well, next thing you know there are 10 other stores set up nearby trying to capitalise on the success of that one store. Most commonly, they will use price discounting as the main tool to try and get market share from the successful store.

You’re probably asking, “Well, Terence isn’t that how business is supposed to be?”

I would say, yes…if you are a businessman that is probably how you will play the game…but if you are an entrepreneur…maybe there is a different way to play it.

Consider these as alternatives:

1) Create a strong brand: Coca-cola has countless imitations around the world…some of them probably taste better than them. McDonald’s are the same; I’m sure you can name at least a dozen joints that serve better tasting food than them.

But they have a strong brand that means something. Coke equals fun times. McDonald’s equals happy times for your kids.

If your brand means something, that’s where you are going to stand apart from your ‘me-too’ competitors.

For smaller businesses, you may not have the marketing dollars that the big businesses have to build brand recognition. So what can you do?

Well one way is to position yourself as a subject-matter expert. By becoming an expert in a particular subject matter, it gives you credence and helps people remember you and your business. It’s an effective branding method for small and medium businesses who do not have tens of millions to spend each year on branding.

2) Create IP: In my publishing business, I’ve had many ‘me-too’ companies copy our model (and even graphics) to set up their business. But what stands us apart is that they don’t understand while I’m selling publishing services, the real objective of my business is creating a software that will change the industry.

So my real end game is not about publishing books…its about developing and selling my IP to a large publishing company or a giant like Amazon.com.

Ok you may be asking now, “Yeah that’s cool for you Terence, but I just took over my father’s fried banana stand…how can I do that?”

If you ask yourself, “What can I do to play a bigger game?” the some possibilities might be:

a) Create new recipes that are unique and patent them

b) Franchise your friend banana stand

c) Wholesale your unique banana batter to other fried banana stands or restaurants

See what I mean?

Stop thinking like a manager who just wants the business to run smoothly and with less headache. If you approach business that way, you are likely to fall into the ‘me-too’ trap.

Think like an entrepreneur, think bigger and creatively!

You will avoid the trap of getting sucked into a ‘me-too’ business, at the same time you make it hard for your competitors to imitate you.

Hope you enjoyed this!

Terence Tam signature

PS. Don’t be decimated by the changes that are coming…download my free report on the right hand side of this page and ride your way to success!

Terence has been passionately practicing and teaching marketing for 20 years. Since 2014 when Radical Marketing was set up, Terence has been helping business owners, speakers and experts from all over the world to fill up their seminar and webinar rooms with attendees.

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