Why are we so scared of competing?

Why distinction is important

Marc Ashwell
2 min readJun 6, 2018

Imagine being a judge at the World Martial Arts Championship. Imagine walking into a massive arena where 50 of the best martial artists in the world are there in the hope of winning the title, and winning the crowd’s hearts.

Now, imagine each one of these martial artists, alone, in their own designated space demonstrating their unique ability to you. How will you choose — how will decide who is the best of the best if you don’t see them in matches against each other?

This is the world that many businesses have subjected consumers to. Within a category, they try and find a designated, unique space to position themselves. They expect consumers to make a conscious, rational decision based on a brand position that does not explain why they are better than the next business.

Businesses and their products are competing for the fulfilment of a need state, yet we sometimes get so specific in our positioning and differentiation that we put ourselves outside the terms of reference and separate ourselves from the need altogether.

We reject concepts because they use the same word a competitor used 3 years ago, or because the colour in the visual is in the competitor brands’ CI.

We think that we can be distinctive by delivering personalised messages and digital ideas, but we are not telling our audiences why to choose use.

Consider your audience, and then try convince me how competing with your competitors by hiding in an uncontested space in a market is a good idea.



Marc Ashwell

Marketing Professional. Problem Solver. Not saving lives.