Here’s Why We Compete with Our Own Products

Michaël Thibault
Written by Michaël Thibault
November 26, 2018 2 minutes to read

A couple weeks ago, we put our free time card calculator online. Anybody can use it at any time, assuming Internet access.

Here’s the strange thing, though: one of our products already includes a timesheet calculator. Isn’t this a form of self-competition? 🤔

Contradiction, or Good Decision?

At first glance, it’s true that offering some of your products or services for free might seem contradictory, if not dangerous, as a business. However, there’s a long history of that occurring, and this, across numerous industries.

We need only think about the many restaurants and taverns which, on slower days, host those well known “ladies nights.”  During such events, women are typically treated to some free food. Why? Because assembling large groups of women generally attracts men as well, whom will themselves place orders. Women are likely to order more than they are given as well. In the long run, these restaurants end up making up for their loss handily.

Now with an example in Quebecers’ hearts: our dear Ricardo. This renowned chef, who published about a dozen cookbooks so far, nevertheless provides thousands cooking recipes on his website – for free. Though this business strategy comes off as contradictory on the face of it, it’s actually brilliant. Ricardo’s famed recipes, presented without fluff, serve to give an excellent foretaste of his cookbooks’ content. These recipes attest to the chef’s outstanding skills, whom we get to know, appreciate, and respect. This growing relationship of trust doesn’t merely sell; it builds a fanbase. And fans generally make for great consumers and brand emissaries!

Wait, What About Us?

Our goal is to bring about a similar effect. The products we offer for free – such as our free scheduling software and our human resources toolkits – help those companies which use them. By the same token, we build trust with our user base. Who knows, this might even be why Ricardo’s team did adopt Agendrix sometime last year! 😃

Every time a visitor ends up on our website, we use the opportunity to tell them something along the lines of “Hey, we have even better for you.” Bringing back to mind your initial offer is important to motivate this visitor to explore further, and ultimately convert them. And this is why menus don’t suddenly vanish during those ladies nights. And why Ricardo’s magazine shows up at the bottom of each of his recipes’ webpage. In both cases, the goal is simply to remind people that there’s more available.

Your Turn Now

Ultimately, there are many ways of benefitting from self-competition, and this, regardless of your business line. If this strategy never came to your mind, we invite you to ask yourself “What products or services could I provide for free to attract and earn customers’ trust?” Play along, seriously. You might come up with something great!


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