Have your competitors ever done something so well that you just had the sudden urge to congratulate them? Although the idea may seem quite strange, it's not as crazy as may you think. Supporting the opposing brand actually shows you have good sportsmanship in business.

In this instance, ‘support’ doesn’t mean rooting for your competitor to win or telling your clients how great they are — it means recognising their achievements, acknowledging how their innovation advances the industry and showing solidarity for them, and therefore, the sector you both work in.

If this all still sounds insane to you, don’t worry. media update’s Maryna Steyn is here to explain why supporting fellow brands is good for business.

1. Showing support allows brands to lean on one another

Who knows the challenges brands go through better than the folks in the same industry? Showing support to competitors can encourage them when they’re experiencing the same struggles as you.

For example, imagine you are a marketing agency that is entirely female-owned. Although there are those who would celebrate this, you may find certain clients, agencies and members of the public wondering, “what’s up with that?” And, your brand could receive a lot of criticism because of this.

That’s why, when you see a rival agency come up that’s also owned by women, you need to show your support, even if it’s just via a friendly social media post to welcome them to the industry. Why? Because you’ve been through the same issues!

As a leader in your industry, this can only be good for your brand, because not only will you have a good reputation that attracts clients and loyal customers. Essentially, your consumers will get a great sense of what your ethics are when it comes to business!

2. Supporting your competitors builds healthy competition

In marketing, your rivals exist because there will always be someone out there with a similar service or product offering. This then gives customers a choice of which brand to support.

Obviously, you want to be the victor, right? Right! But what if you are already thriving in the industry? Is it still necessary to put in all that hard work? Of course, it is!

You can never go wrong with a healthy dose of competition. This will keep your brand on its toes. Remember, no matter how well business is going now, that can easily change. So the next time your competitor creates a clever fast-food campaign or puts out a hilarious pun in a radio ad, take some notes and learn from them.

Even if it’s a small agency, recognising the achievements of your fellow brands shows that they bring something valuable to the table.

And having a worthy opponent to compete against helps motivate and inspire your marketing team to be innovative and ahead of the curve as you’re basically sharing ideas without explicitly… sharing ideas.

3. Supporting your competitors helps the industry grow

In the current economic climate, showing support is more important than ever as all brands, as we’ve said before, are both working towards building up the industry. By growing the marketing sector, the economy is also improving through the flow of money when products or services are sold and bought.

So how exactly can showing solidarity for your competitors grow the industry? Well, let’s take a look.

Brands, for example, can encourage local buying from small businesses. If you’re a giant supermarket, you can have flyers at your shop or ads on your website that direct customers to small, community-based eateries.

Supporting local brands right within your community has a knock-on effect that will build the food sector as a whole, which is great for your business, and theirs.

Another example is the act of sharing resources and suppliers. Sticking to the same scenario, if your supermarket is low on bread, you might be able to get help from other local markets that will be able to help you stock up again.

Remember, at the end of the day, you and your competitor share a common goal. And it’s a lot easier to do that together than it is to do it alone.

Marketers, do you feel it is important to support your competitors? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below.

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Now that you know about the benefits of supporting your competitors, take a look at these Six things marketers can learn from Friends.
*Image courtesy of Canva