Everyone thinks they can do it better. “It’s so easy, you’ve just got to add this, or talk to person x and bada bing bada boom, and you get a load of money”… yeah right.
There will always be people who will look at your product and believe they can replicate your success. But they miss one key principle, the one thing that you have that makes you stand out from your competition.
Your experience and the ability to empathize with your customer’s problem.
Typically great products come from a problem or an itch that someone else is having. If you’re not making your customers lives easier, making them money or removing a pain, you’re likely not going to be in business very long.
But most people don’t get it, you can have 2 products that do the exact same thing, but if you don’t understand what you’re providing your customer, then you’re going to fail.
The best example of this is Zune vs iPod. Both held MP3s, both were in a similar price range. But only one product survived and thrived.
The one key difference between Microsoft and Apple is Apple resonated with their audience better. They understood how to market to their audience and create a product that way easier to use.
Ultimately Zune died.
The next Apple vs Microsoft fight is Facebook vs Snapchat.
Back in 2013 Facebook tried to buy Snapchat for $3bn in cash. Snapchat laughed the offer off, and then took the world by storm by introducing filters. Then floated themselves on the stock market.
Now we all know how Snapchat’s first quarter ended, with them plummeting 4 points as the ever-growing Facebook seeks to kill their competition by replicating their stories and filters to Facebook and their sister platform Instagram.
It will be interesting to see how this develops, but following the principle of understanding your customer better, what problem you’re solving and what you’re making easier for them. The company that will survive will be the one who resonates the most with their audience.
Here are a few other notable trends that have made their customers lives easier and have thrived because of it.
- Netflix replaces DVDs
- Youtube replaces TV
- Spotify/Soundcloud replaces CDs
- Uber replaces Taxis
- Tesla may replace Driving cars
- Bitcoin may replace Money
It’s a growing trend of understanding your customer before building your product. And to understand your customer requires a great deal of experience and insight.
It’s why you have big companies like Cisco that are aggressively buying up businesses that would be competition. They understand that it’s harder to replicate someone’s success when they don’t have the whole picture.
They understand the importance of expansion and relevance, with their reach into new markets ensuring their survival. At present Cisco averages, one company take over a month.
With the general pattern of them purchasing AI, Big Data and Cybersecurity.
Why replicate success when you can buy it?
Saas Marketing Strategy provided a brief overview of People HRs success and captured why it’s hard to replicate success.
People HR follow a top-down approach. Where their CEO Sat Sindhar focuses his time on the values behind his product, rather than the functionality of his SAAS software.
You see, functionality can be copied, of course, it can, but it’s the values that come first and foremost before the functionality is even designed.
Those that try and replicate your success, will look at the functionality that your product is offering and have no idea why you chose that direction. But when it comes to innovation, they will always be, behind.
What separates you is knowing your customer better than your competition does, the rest will follow. When your market demands something new, it’s up to you to harmonize with their itch and deliver it in the most convenient manner.