Does slamming your competition when marketing, help or hinder you?
Perhaps, the better question to ask, does doing so help or hinder your competition?
Recently, we received some marketing material from a competing organization to ours. This competitor decided to compare their service to “Other Sports Clubs” using the Toronto Sport & Social Club’s trademarked red shield logo, but they removed the “Sport & Social Club” name inside the shield changing it to read “Other Sports Clubs” in an attempt to subtly (or not so subtly) slam us.
From there they proceeded to attempt to make “Other Sports Clubs” look bad relative to themselves by creating a checklist of differentiators between organizations.
My initial reaction when I saw this marketing material was irritation and anger at this seemingly cheap shot and a low blow. However, after I took a breath, and realized the FREE branding and awareness the Sport & Social Club had received, I cracked a smile. Awareness about our organization had now been directly shared with our competitor’s customer list, people who may or may not have realized “Other Sports Clubs” even existed and now may do some research into competitive offerings and learn more about us. Besides, isn’t “imitation the sincerest form of flattery?”
Further, I realized that if this type of marketing (putting down others to make oneself seem better) appeals to a customer, then perhaps these are not really the customers we are seeking. Those customers who find this style of marketing as repulsive as I do, are more likely to want to do the research into those “Other Sports Clubs” and come to play with the Sport & Social Club.
Truth is, I would never want my team to slam the competition in an attempt to make ourselves look good. Sing our own praises? Absolutely! Put others down in the process? Never!
I believe so strongly in the service we are providing…keeping people playing. I also believe there are a lot of great organizations offering similar services to ours and I’m thrilled they are doing so. I believe that competition is healthy as it breeds better service for all. Our vision is to get 1 million people playing. Whether playing with the Sport & Social Club or “Other Sports Clubs”, every player kicking a ball, throwing a disc, making a pass and scoring a point, is helping create more smiles and a better world for all.
PLAY FAIR & KEEP PLAYING!
— Kristi Herold, Founder, CEO, Sport & Social Group