Did you know there are 7.2 billion people on the planet!? That's a lot of people. My maa always told me I'm one in a million, but that actually means there are approximately 7,200s of mes in the world. And suddenly, just like that, I don't feel so special anymore.
Shedding aside childhood complexes I've grown to think it's much more conducive to actually believe we are NOT unique. The wheel and lightbulb have been invented and while genius will always be celebrated it's getting harder and harder to stand out of the crowd, simply because of there being 7,200s of each of us. With such a massive crowd, competition is obviously stiff, ESPECIALLY in the cake world where we are not only competing with other big, medium and small businesses but also fabulous home/hobby bakers. It is unanimously agreed that competition is great for customers and businesses too but along with the healthy there is an equal measure of naughties such as under-cutting and copying and sadly also some nasties such as b!tchiness, passing-off etc. So why do I think even bad competition practices in business is good??
Because it makes us better. It makes EVERYONE better. And here's why:
1. It makes us move forward
While it may seem that some competitors are always on our heels, be it lifting our pricing structure, designs etc it's worth reminding ourselves that that's where they'll largely remain if they just keep lifting ideas...on our heels, which not only means they're behind but also pushes us on our toes to move forward with new ideas and a fresh outlook.
With increasing amounts of "creative cats" we've only been more encouraged to push the boat out further and as a result have more fun creating new and exciting cake designs - check out our HUGE selection of birthday cakes!
2. It makes us re-evaluate constantly
We are always working on new products, wedding cake designs, macaron flavours etc but when the competition tries to catch up it's a good time to re-evaluate what's already established to make sure our offering is the best we can do for our customers. Are there some products that are hackneyed/passe and could do with an update? Could they be presented/packaged better? These are some of the questions we ask ourselves periodically to keep improving.
With the popularity of our Gaga-Rainbow cake it was easy to just sit back and relax but we listened to customers who wanted a softer rainbow and hence the Pastel Pixie Rainbow Cake was born!
3. It encourages better service
"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that person’s lawful prey." - John Ruskin
One of my favourite quotes in business. It highlights the perception of cost in relation to quality but one can also read a little more into it - there is HARDLY anything in the world that someone else cannot make (whether worse or better). A major differentiation factor however can be our service. We noticed a massive improvement in sales when we made a conscious effort to respond to enquiries within 24 hours and it gives us such warm fuzzies when we get great feedback on not just our cakes and gifts but also on the customer service! Full-on team effort, high-fives all-round.
4. It's great for the customer
Already mentioned, but it really is. Despite the nature of the competition if the end result is people upping their game then obviously the end consumer is winning. And consumers who are winning will keep coming back for more.
Gosh all this sounds far too tolerant coming from me! Don't get me wrong, I'll still be eye-rolling on cheapie under-cutters and cheeky creative cats but I'm spending less time potating and more time building a better business for our customers.
Lots of love,