why creative brands should sleep with the ‘enemy’

Dixie and Alexandra

Originally posted November 12, 2010

I’m always curious to hear if authors read within their chosen genre. Or if professional chefs enjoy eating out. Or if publishers enjoy books or magazines from another house.

You’d be surprised at the responses I get. They range from utter disgust at the fact that I would even ask if they indulge in or support the *spit* competition, to shrugs and easy-going why-nots or of-courses, to aggressive hell-yeah-I-have-to-keep-track-of-thems.

My opinion is a combination of all of these ideals, but I’ll sum it up by saying just this:

Sleep with the (perceived) enemy.

And not in the you-should-just-keep-tabs-on-them kind of way either.

I use the term ‘enemy’ loosely. Because, really, they are your ‘peers.’

So, yes, sleep with your peers!

Seriously, this is a good idea people.

Keep up with what your peers in your creative industry are doing.

Yes, they are competition, so by keeping up with them you’ll be making one good business decision as a creative brand –remember it’s not all frou-frou here– by knowing your competition.

But it’s also a good idea because often times you can learn from your peers. Or even *gasp* collaborate with them. Imagine that.

And some may be thinking: why would I want to collaborate with my peers, Tivi. That’s just dumb. I’m likely to lose business to them.

Well, buddy, you’re likely to lose business anyway. So there! *sticking out tongue*

But seriously, let’s think about this.

Clients come and go whether or not you collaborate with your peers, but perhaps you’re hitting a particular segment of the market and your peer is hitting another. A mutually beneficial “collabo” may help you tap into a market you were struggling with that your peer has on lock. Kind of like putting Snoop Dogg on a Katy Perry song.

Or it may just be a matter of appealing to different people in the same audience pool.

My point isn’t to make you jump up and start “sleeping” with every one of your peers, but to open your eyes to the fact that you and your peers make up your industry and if you don’t know what’s going on with your peers, *lightbulb* you don’t really know what’s going on in your industry.

So here’s the challenge, creative brands, after you read this, connect with 5 of your peers today. Whether you follow them on Twitter, like them on Facebook or sign up for their newsfeeds— do something to keep up with them.

I promise you’ll be happy you did. And if you aren’t happy, well *shrug* all sales are final.

Sign up for my newsfeed here to sleep with, I mean, keep up with me.

[photo “Dixie and Alexandra” by billjacobus1]

@TiviJones for @CreativityLoft

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