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How to Draw Inspiration from Competitors

Saturday - June 1st, 2013

Written by: Tristan Pelligrino

How to Draw Inspiration from Competitors

The old adage, that “good artists borrow, but great artists steal,” is becoming truer in the world of web design. Whether it’s Apple, Google, or Microsoft, more and more companies are stealing ideas directly from their competitors. If you’re stuck with your web design ideas and are struggling to envision what your brand’s online presence will look like, then why not gain inspiration directly from your competitors? However, knowing how to draw inspiration from your competitors is as much an art as it is a business tactic.

To successfully gain inspiration from your competitors, consider:

  • Drafting. Instead of trying to straight up copy your competitors, consider using their ideas to draft your own. For instance, search for ways in which your competitors have been successful with social media or other marketing efforts and “draft” ideas that allow you to emulate their success. This way, your brand still maintains a sense of originality while pursuing a strategy that works.
  • Improving. Look to your competitors and determine key areas where they’ve succeeded in their web design strategy. When you find those points, think about how you can improve what already exists.
  • This will keep your website on top of the game. By tweaking what works, you can create a better, more user-friendly experience that will thrill consumers everywhere.

  • What you’re missing. When you’re looking for inspiration from your competitors, don’t only look for ways that you can improve or gain new ideas. Instead, look for elements that they’re using that your brand is missing. By pinpointing areas where your brand may be falling behind, you can work to not only catch up but to stay ahead of the game.
  • Customers. Whether it’s a product review or comment on a blog, see what customers are saying about your competitor. Take note of both praise and criticism and brainstorm how you can take that feedback to create a better experience through your own brand. However, it’s crucial to remember that the customer reviews left on any website are not a scientific reference for you to base any major decision on. Still, they can provide solid inspiration.

Benefits of Seeking Inspiration from Your Competitors

If you’re unsure about seeking inspiration from your competitors, it’s important to consider all the positive benefits that accompany it. After all, major corporations wouldn’t employ this technique unless it yielded incredible results.

The immediate benefit of looking to your competitors for inspiration is saving resources. You save both time and money by looking at your competitors to see what is and isn’t working for your industry. It’s much easier to tweak and improve a current web design strategy than to brainstorm an original idea from scratch. Understanding how your competition works also gives your brand the opportunity to get a leg-up by improving the products and services for your industry.

However, as you glean inspiration from your competitors, it’s important to tread carefully. After all, you never want to become a watered-down version of another brand. Instead, work to approach the same industry with innovative and fresh eyes. You should never look to your competitors to copy, but to inspire better performance for your brand!

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