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Renee Ballard

Favourites & competitors

As the saying goes, every person is different and that’s what makes us interesting. When it comes to creating our business communications, the same principle applies, we all do it differently. Some businesses share every step of their journey, some repost other people’s content, some invite their community to join a conversation and some use beautiful visuals to convey their message.

If you’re stuck in a rut and your marketing is feeling a little groundhog day, it might pay to look up from what you’re doing and check out what your favourites and competitors are up to.

Your favourites can include any style or size of business that you love being near. Their comms feel good, their visuals look good, their content reads well, and after visiting their website or social media channels, you feel better for it.

When you’re visiting these sites, notice when you’re feeling inspired and clock what it is that’s making you feel that way? It could be the vulnerability they show in what they say, their slick visuals, the funny one-liners they come up with. Think about how you can appropriate that style into your comms? Not a direct copy, of course, but what are they doing that you love, and how could you do something similar?

Another potential source of inspiration and motivation can come from checking out your competitors. I know this flies in the face of what any business guru worth their salt would recommend; you’re not meant to compare yourself to others, I totally agree. But that’s not what I’m suggesting when I say check out your competitors.

Often when we’re so busy with our own stuff, we have blindspots to imagining what else is possible. Our competitors are in the same industry, facing the same marketing and comms problems, so it’s great to see how they’re dealing with it. The trick here though is to keep the visit brief, you don’t want to let self-shredding sneak in, so strictly take a brisk walk-through then get out of there – no dawdling!

Checking out your favourites and competitors every couple of months, or when you get stuck, can help wiggle you out of a well-worn groove and give you a chance to shake things up. I have a couple companies, both faves and competitors, that I check out every so often, and I’ll be damned if they don’t inspire me with new ideas and that usually lights a fire under my butt to get moving!

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