Any Publicity Is Good Publicity: Why You Shouldn't Mention Your Competitors

You've heard the old saying that "any publicity is good publicity."
If someone is talking about you, good or bad, you're getting your name out there. It's focusing the attention on YOU.
It makes others check you out to see what is going on: who you are and what you're about.
And not everyone that comes across you will think what you're doing is as bad or worse than what people are saying about you.
In fact, some of those people will end up sticking by you.
It's the same way with business.

If your copy is talking about your competition, you're giving potential customers a reason to check them out. You're giving them the name of someone else they can buy from. You might be introducing them to your competition when they didn't know they even existed!

Why would you want to do that?
The hard and fast rule in business has always been to mention your competition.
There are a few other reasons not to talk about your competition.
  • For starters, it makes you look like YOUR business is coming from a position of weakness. By pointing out something they're doing, it looks like you're on the defensive and having to catch up to them.
  • Next, it makes you come across as being negative. Nobody likes the thought of doing business with someone that seems backstabbing. You might not be trying to be ugly, but the perception can come across as something different.
How can you write copy that lets customers know you stand above your competition if you can't mention their name?
There are 3 easy ways to introduce content that puts you above your competition without ever mentioning their name.

Highlight Your Uniqueness

What is the one special thing that makes you different from anyone else in your industry?
That's the thing you want to focus on!
Differentiation is the easiest way to stand out from your competitors.
With the right content messaging, it sets you up to be the only business able to deliver those unique qualities to customers.
And being the only one means you have no competition in the minds of your customers.

Show Off Your Strengths

You may have other things about your business that aren't unique.
For example, you might have the highest rated customer service in town. Or your location is quick and easy to get to.
Your competitors could have some of the same qualities, but they don't do them as well as you do.
You can show off those strengths and downplay their weaknesses using vague and generic copy references.
Instead of saying you have longer hours than a specific business, you might say something such as:
"Others are only open 9 to 5 during the week. We stay open until 7pm and have weekend hours for your convenience."
The vague reference to "others" still downplays the weakness of your competition. But it does so without mentioning anyone by name or being negative.
It also lets you showcase your strengths and keeps the tone more positive.

Let Your Testimonials Do the Talking

The easiest way to stand out from your competition is to let customers share their experiences.
Testimonials are powerful. When a customer shares a great review and tells others about their experience with you, it sends a strong message.
It lets others know WHY you are better than any other business choices. YOU were the business to solve a problem. Not the other guy down the road.
If you want to rise above the competition, ask for, and share testimonials often. Use them in emails, on your website, even in social media posts.
By letting your copy highlight your positive qualities, you keep the attention focused on you.
And you never have to mention the other guys ever again.