It was announced in the local northern business press recently that a Northern Colorado beer company “will discontinue distribution of its beers to grocery stores and lay off more than 40 percent of its staff as part of a larger business downsizing. In a statement to BizWest, the brewery blamed severe competition from other craft breweries…”
Wow! Can you imagine, competition in the craft beer industry!!
My comment is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but the real problem for this brewer is not competition. The real problem is their inability to create a compelling reason for consumers to purchase their beer. They could not sustain any competitive differentiation of their beer over and against the many, many breweries in this “golden age” of beer. They were able to create a bit of a local following, but this was not enough to achieve any volume distribution. In other words, the business downsizing was their fault, not “the competition’s”.
Don’t blame the competition!
The single most important factor in business is the ability to sell your product. Your business will only thrive when potential customers perceive a clear and unique reason to embrace your product or service and purchase it instead of the competition. Yet, many companies struggle because they fail to make this distinction.
What is your competitive advantage? Do you have a clear and compelling product edge? Your ability to stand heads and tails above your competitors is your business’s most important success factor.