SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 210,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.
How large of a threat do you face from substitute products/services?
- Huge: 23%
- Large: 19%
- Moderate: 27%
- Slight: 16%
- Negligible: 15%
There’s always a threat. When it comes to assessing the threat of substitutes for our products or services, we tend to think narrowly about how those threats manifest. We think “We make blue widgets and red widgets are the substitute.” True. But think broadly about what customers could purchase instead of your product/service. You might be surprised by where the competitive threats come from. When you look at your product through your customer’s eyes, you’ll likely see more threats than when you view it from your position. It’s a worthwhile exercise that can prevent you from being blindsided by the next competitive threat.
Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”