I wrote yesterday that there's nothing scarier to hear in business than, "Hey did you hear Google is going to enter your industry?"
Arguably even more scary: if Amazon decides become your competitor.
A couple of my Inc.com colleagues have written recently about how the world's biggest online store can also quickly become your biggest competitor.
Whether its Amazon's decision that upends the business models of some small, loyal companies that rely on it to distribute their products, or else its straightforward head-to-head competition with larger brands, Amazon's smallest decisions can have a butterfly effect across entire industries.
The good news, as Inc.'s Justin Bariso showed in examining how Best Buy, Costco and Kohl's managed to compete with Amazon, and as Scott Mauritz showed in an examination of what WalMart is doing, is that there are strategies you can use when you find yourself suddenly facing competition from bigger organizations--even the largest of Jeff Bezos's many ventures.
Among the successful strategies these big brands used, which you can try when faced with a bigger competitor:
- Turning your weakness into strength, for example how Best Buy put the focus on in-person experience over online convenience.
- Partnering with your bigger competitor (Kohl's reaction).
- Focusing on people as much as products, like at Costco.
- Attacking their strengths (as Walmart has tried, by basically declaring itself a tech company).
These aren't easy solutions of course. And they're not all applicable to all competitors.
But if your business is suddenly up against Amazon, you do likely have advantages: nimbleness, customer relationships, and the intense knowledge of your products and customers that comes specifically from not trying to be "the everything store."
And you also have the inspiration and models of those who've pulled it off before you.
Here's what else I'm reading today:
- Berlin is offering women reduced train fares to make up for the gender pay gap.
- YouTube is struggling to take down the New Zealand shooting video: over and over and over.
- Today in donations: A GoFundMe campaign for a 17-year-old boy who hit an Australian politician who had made controversial comments about Muslims after the New Zealand massacre with an egg, now has $50,000.
- PagerDuty is going public. I admit, my favorite part about this company is its old school name.
- Sorry about that: MySpace might have lost a full decade worth of users' music.
- No, stop saying you're sorry! (Say these things instead.)
- How an engineer accidentally launched a venture-backed startup.
- Now your cool, adventurous Facebook posts could affect your insurance rates.
- Also today in donations: Beto O'Rourke brought in $6 million in 24 hours.