I have written about this in the past and there are future posts that will touch on this again; basically, there are significant advantages to monitor and maybe replicate what your industry leaders are doing.
A small family run corner store does not need to invest significant resources to see where the industry is heading; they can just look at what the multinationals like Coles and Woolworths are doing.
But here is a word of warning: If you think that your competitor has got it wrong or you are not comfortable with the path, then do not proceed. The big players do not always get it right.
A classic recent example is the use of advertising tags on shelf items. These tags highlight the product price and look surprisingly like the stores ON SALE tags. Problem is that the tags are advertising the product price – it is not on sale at all. Consumers see this as a deceptive tactic and have caught onto this devious supermarket ploy. The supermarkets have defended the use of price tags as a way of highlighting a product price rather than try and fool people that it was on sale. Unfortunately, consumers just do not believe this statement.
….and here is the clincher. One of the big players started this scam and the rest have followed. I suppose it proves that everyone is looking at what the others are doing.
Another unfortunate deception technique is to claim that 50% savings are available on a product, but what the retailer has done is actually inflate the price before offering a discount. The discount actually does not exist. The ACCC prosecuted a jewellery chain in 2015 (sorry I cannot recall the chain name) for deceiving customers by using this technique. Of course there are ways of getting around this – introduce a new stock item, inflate the price, advertise the inflated price for a period of time, then discount the product down to the price that it was originally supposed to be. Now the product is legitimately on sale, but is being sold at the normal retail price.
Bottom line here is: 1. Look at what your competitors are doing. 2. If you can, and if you agree with it, replicate the program/product/service. 3. If you do not agree with it, then do not do it. 4. DON’T LIE TO YOUR CUSTOMERS – YOU WILL GET CAUGHT OUT.