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When I was in Nottingham a while back, I found myself in a big industrial estate where out-of-town megashops are located.
To be honest, I found this highly offensive until I saw this:
Yes, that really is a home furnishing store that used their outdoor signage to tell passers-by that they will beat the quote of any competitor, including their next-door neighbour, who also is a home furnishing store.
The fact there are two companies – selling pretty much the same stuff – are located next door to each other may seem strange to many of you. After all, in the West, we talk about the importance of ‘differentiation’ so locating your store right next door to a competitor is probably the antithesis of that, but in Asia, that is not unusual.
In fact, in Asia, the opposite tends to be the case.
Here, companies actively associate with competitors. Not because they like to get up to the sort of mischief furniture shops in Nottingham like to get away with, but because the cultural value system actively encourages ‘group acceptance’ so by being with others, it sort of implies they are OK and not ‘out-the-loop’.
And that’s why you can walk into malls that literally contain hundreds of shops all selling the same thing.
From camera equipment to – I kid you not – fish accessories.
Anyway, I digress.
I was going to leave you with an ad that encapsulated mischief marketing … because quite frankly, I love that sort of stuff.
Not – as you may initially assume – because I’m a little sod, but because in these days of brands spending millions to say absolutely nothing, a brand that is prepared to ‘have a go’ at a competitor with a twinkle in the eye is incredibly attractive and engaging.
So as I said, I was going to leave you with an ad that had a bit more punch than the Nottingham furniture store … but I can’t find the one I wanted to show [Pizza Hut attacking McDonald’s when they started selling pizzas by running a spot that said ‘Would buy a pizza from this clown?’] so instead, I’ll leave you with another fast-food spot. It’s not targeting a competitor with their mischief, instead they are using another category all together to justify their point of view.
It’s an oldie, but a goodie.
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