Are you ready for some C&C? If you can’t beat them, join ‘em!
The two big C’s in this business, competition and collaboration, are more related than they may first appear. They both deserve equal contemplation and consideration and need to be inter-weaved into your decision making process.
A little (healthy) competition can feed your creativity and assist in your drive to stand out from the crowd. There may be tons other products similar to yours in the market, but it only takes one unique quality to grab someone’s attention. When you are aware of what is already out there, you can confidently speak to how your product is different and how it fills a void in the market. After all, most stores whether big or small are limited in shelf space. Your product has to offer something different to warrant a piece of their prime real estate.
When it comes to collaboration, you want to partner with other like-minded companies where both parties win-win. In researching your peers, you may also come across some companies whose work and philosophies complement yours instead of competing with them. These are the companies you should be collaborating with, whether you’re creating exclusive merchandise for each other (you know how I love exclusivity!) or working together on a new, one-of-a-kind product. You can also add them to your entourage and feed off of each other’s fan base.
Here is a company who has done a great job in collaborating with like-minded designers to grow their business. Hello Lucky was one of the first specialty letterpress design studio that came on to the scene in 2003. The competition in the letterpress world has grown tremendously over the past few years. They responded by honing in on their strengths and partnering with designers like Darling Clementine, Julia Rothman, Kate Sutton to create exclusive product for them. Well done!
Whether competing or collaborating with fellow creatives, the best thing you can do is stay informed and be alert! You don’t need to re-invent the wheel. However, you do need to step out of your comfort box and not be afraid to shake things up. The reward will be priceless :).
How can you C&C? I would love to hear your strategy here!
Your Retail Product Mentor