While referring to a competitor by name was once taboo, the playing field has changed and brands are now naming each other in print and online advertisements. When developing new products marketing, should your business mention the competition or stick to the term “leading brand?” Naming names when advertising online could have unexpected benefits for a business including building trust and authority.
Though they may have no problem with naming competitors in print advertisements, many marketers shy away from mentioning their competition in online advertising, where conversations can continue. However, discussing the competition in a neutral or even positive way can increase the online rankings of a site. By comparing its products to what the competition offers, a relatively unknown brand can thrust itself into the spotlight. In addition to the search engine optimization benefits, the company can enhance its credibility.
To leverage the competition, identify a major competitor and determine how to highlight this business. Side-by-side product or service comparisons in the form of blog or list posts and showcasing what a competitor offers and then providing a link to the same services from your business are popular choices. Industry, product or service, level of content control, and positioning determine the best way to highlight a competitor.
A brand will only benefit when it mentions the competition in an honest, ethical, and tasteful manner. Consumers do not look favorably upon brands that disparage competitors. Even worse are companies that claim to have no competition because these come across as egotistical. Acknowledging the competition and dedicating online space to highlighting its offerings versus yours is the best approach. This increases online traffic to your business website and builds the authority of your brand.
Large companies tend to have many legal restrictions, making it difficult for them to mention the competition. As one of these companies, Dell recently found a way to work around this. On its Facebook page, Dell linked to an independent study comparing its social media response time to the response time of competitor Hewlett-Packard. By doing so, Dell indirectly compared itself to a major competitor and started an online discussion.
Whether comparing itself to the competition directly or highlighting a comparison that a third party has made, a business engaged in new products marketing should take the high road by not disparaging these other companies. An ethical approach will make the business appear credible and trustworthy. Improving search engine rankings and increasing authority have long-term benefits.