Who Are Your Real Competitors?

There’s nothing wrong with reaching high.

There’s nothing wrong with reaching high. As poet Robert Browning put it,

Ah, a man’s reach should exceed his grasp./Or what’s a heaven for?

So it seems that vehicle manufacturers are always trying to position their offerings as a class or two above what they really are. It’s as if saying will make it so. It doesn’t.

Sure, some people may believe it. And some may be better than none.

But there’s the danger that if the people working within an organization imagine that the products they have designed and engineered are really what the marketing people have positioned those product as being, they may think, “Well, that’s good enough” when doing their next project.

And it isn’t nearly as good as it needs to be. That’s a road that you don’t want to go down.

One of the places where there’s arguably a bit more definitional reality is at a dealership. No, this is not to say that dealers aren’t doing their damnedest to make the proverbial sow’s ear into a silk purse. But if they’re going to successfully move the sheet metal, they’re going to have a realistic understanding of what the competitive landscape is.


So while looking at an ad for the metro Detroit Mercedes-Benz dealers, I noticed a definition of who they think their competition is. If you own one of the brands on the list, you could be eligible to get $1,000 or $2,000 toward the purchase of a Merc. Clearly, when money is on the line, definitions ought to be as crisp as possible.

The list is:

· Acura

· Audi

· Lexus

· Cadillac

· Infiniti

· Jaguar

· Porsche

· Range Rover

You may notice that there are several brands missing that compare themselves to one or more of the above.

The question is: Are the others really competitors, or do they only say that they are?