Many businesses love to show appreciation for their customers, and that’s great. Some businesses even have annual Customer Appreciation Days – also great. But what about our competitors? Aren’t they worthy of our company love and appreciation? I got thinking about this and it made perfect sense, so I googled ‘Competitor Appreciation Day’ to find out when the official day is observed – more on that in a moment. I’m sure not everybody will agree with me. I’m fairly certain Ray Kroc – the legendary CEO of McDonald’s – and I wouldn’t see eye to eye on this. Here’s a quote of his: “If any of my competitors were drowning, I’d stick a hose in their mouth and turn on the water.” Ouch, Ray. I’m glad I wasn’t little Wendy or the Burger King when you were alive. I relate more to what change agent Tom Asacker said;“The word competition literally means, ‘seeking together,’ and ‘choosing to run in the same race.’ Great people and great brands don’t care about their competitors. They don’t define themselves by competitive movements. They are simply not on the same track (mentally).”
Imagine if we couldn’t choose who to buy products and services from. What would that look like? Lets use our phones as an example. Would we all be lined up outside the nearest strip mall retail store of the only cellular provider waiting in line to pay premium prices for lackluster products and services?
Thankfully, we live in a time where a disgruntled customer can both complain about a poor product or service experience and, in most cases, seek another source to satisfy their need – from their smartphone, and within minutes. I think that statement stands true unless it involves a super niche product like garden gloves for field mice.
Have you ever been in a situation where you purchased a product or service from a particular business becuase there are no other options or no convenient options? Maybe the experience wasn’t even terrible but you know you wouldn’t buy from them if you had other choices. Did it feel good? What if that company believes you have no other options? What is going to drive that company to give you their best? How does that company behave when they believe they don’t have to fight for your loyalty?
If we are looking to purchase the best product, service, or overall value, it’s competition that makes it all possible. If we are selling a product or service, it’s our competition that drives us to innovate, to provide great value and exceptional customer service. Competition is what keeps us in (or out of) business.
“The word competition literally means, ‘seeking together,’ and ‘choosing to run in the same race.’ Great people and great brands don’t care about their competitors. They don’t define themselves by competitive movements. They are simply not on the same track (mentally).” –Tom Asacker
So I did quite a bit of looking and it turns out Competitor Appreciation Day is not really a thing. That’s why I decided that June 20th is going to be Competitor Appreciation Day at IDEAL and we hope you’ll observe it as well. I chose the 20th of June because there isn’t a notable holiday or particular event already being observed on that day, unless you take into consideration the Battle of the Catalaunian Plains when the Roman and Visigoths forces defeated Attila the Hun in northeast France in 451. It’s also the birthday of George Washington’s sister, Betty, but I’m fairly confident she wouldn’t mind sharing.
To all our competitors out there; we know you watch us closely and read our blog posts, and we’re cool with it. We’re keeping an eye on you, too. 😉 Oscar Wilde once said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” and we couldn’t agree more. Providing outstanding customer service has been woven into the fabric of IDEAL since the beginning, and we’re proud of that. And it’s you, our competitors, that help drive us to provide value and innovative solutions to our customers. We appreciate you deeply and thank you for helping us to be the best at what we do.
p.s. We’re still deciding whether to send you flowers or miniature samples of our cutting edge prototypes… let us know what you prefer.