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Business Marketing

Your Vicious Competitors

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original photo by: glynnish


eHarmony

In the world of online dating, the sea of website options are endless, all promising the perfect love connection.  EHarmony has a massive following and a very expensive ad campaign- we are all educated about their philosophy that you are matched on multiple levels after taking what equates to a psych evaluation test.  The theory is that instead of lust matching, the site matches you with your soulmate.  The founder of eHarmony has publicly asserted that he believes that premarital sex clouds your judgment.

Chemistry

After putting all of these pieces together, a rival company called Chemistry.com has launched a print marketing and television campaign encouraging people who were rejected from eHarmony to come join their site, for people who don’t agree that premarital sex clouds your judgment to come hang out and swap photos.  Their theory is that you can take all the tests in the world, but if you show up and the date is an ugo, you’re not going to stay.

Smart Business

What appears from a non-insider to be a mud slinging contest is actually really smart business on both parts.  One company wears a halo and matches you with your future spouse while the other wears devil horns by appealing to the primal urges of non-commital dating.  Both succeed because they aren’t actually pandering to the same crowd, rather providing alternatives to each other.

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Who Are You?

That said, it’s important to think about this- who are you in this scenario?  No, I’m not asking if you believe premarital sex clouds judgment or not, rather if you are the company founded on traditional grounds, or are you providing an alternative to your competitor?  Better yet, are you the company that’s neither, rather the company whining that you’re being attacked by the alternative to your business instead of taking advantage of their bashing? 

Lani is the COO and News Director at The American Genius, has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH, Austin Digital Jobs, Remote Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Toby & Saide

    March 12, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    I’m sorry my judgement is clouded, I’ll have to read this again.

    Ahh, yes.

    I’m neither. I’m happy to compete with anyone, but there is no reason to get personal with it.

  2. Rocky VanBrimmer

    March 12, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    Seeing that Toby and Saide are in my direct market, and my judgement is not clouded…

    And for some reason, I would still enjoy meeting Toby for a cup of coffee or lucnh even. The date may be a dud, however I think Sadie could pay!

  3. Rocky VanBrimmer

    March 12, 2008 at 10:36 pm

    By the way, its after midnight. EyE kaNt TyPe oAr sEpLL.

  4. Ines

    March 12, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    It’s funny because when I was reading this, I wasn’t thinking who I was as the “type of company”, I was thinking of who my clients are and how to market to them. Whichever way you look at it, it goes back to who your audience is and who we are writing for as bloggers, and who we are marketing to whether the new and exiting web2.0 way or with traditional methods.

    I’m so enjoying the marketing aspect of our business- and thinking that every move we make will determine how you attract business. —–sorry to switch it around on you…..maybe my judgement is clouded as well.

  5. Ginger Wilcox

    March 12, 2008 at 10:42 pm

    I think I wear a halo and devil’s horns at the same time (and no I am not a whiner! 😮 )
    I think you can embrace change and provide a different alternative while still retaining some traditional elements. I don’t believe it is all or nothing.

  6. From Seth Godin, “One of the hardest things to do is invent a brand with no opposite. You don’t have an anchor to play against.”

  7. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 13, 2008 at 9:20 am

    Do you guys think Chemistry.com would be even a recognizable name if they weren’t the ANTI-eHarmony? I agree with Jeff that there’s nothing wrong with being the ANTI because with every product, there’s a segment that won’t want or like it, so why the heck not capitalize on that?

    I believe the company I work for is the Anti-1.0 model. 🙂 No Trillionaire Realtor book subscriptions, no “tell me buddyman, what would you do if I told you I could sell your home for 20% above your neighbors’?” cold calling, or smarmy tricks.

  8. Shailesh Ghimire

    March 13, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    I’m eHarmony – its the orgy promoted by Chemistry that got us into the credit mess…

  9. Lani Anglin-Rosales

    March 21, 2008 at 11:42 am

    @Shailesh- OMG that is tooooo funny!

    @Dawn- I had no idea, that’s insane! I think you’ve got a revolutionary idea, that “going to the park” thingy- wow, you should market that and make a billion dollars! 🙂 Thanks for coming over to Agent Genius, this world is WAY too small!!!

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