Should you ever publicly praise your competitors?
Sales & Marketing

Should you ever publicly praise your competitors?

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Today, let's talk about a counterintuitive strategy that might just make your brand the belle of the ball: praising your competitors. Sounds crazy, right? But hear me out!


Throwing a compliment to your competitors can make your brand look like the cool kid who's confident enough to give props where they're due. It’s like saying, “Yeah, they’re good, but we’re secure in our awesomeness.”

The compliment conundrum 🙏

  • The car wash capers: A car wash praised its competitor and saw its click-through rates jump to 5.4%, compared to a mere 3.3% for self-promotion. It's like saying, “Props to the other guy for being awesome, but we’re still here doing our thing.”
  • The KitKat kudos: KitKat tipped its hat to Twix and saw a boost in its own sales, while Twix didn't see a dent. It’s like saying, “Hey, we both make great chocolate bars, but ours still has that irresistible snap.”

Why this works 🤔

  • Warm fuzzies: We love brands that feel warm, sincere, and kind. It’s like finding out the tough-looking biker volunteers at the animal shelter 🐶🐱
  • Breaking skepticism: When you praise a competitor, it feels like a genuine move rather than a marketing trick. It’s like admitting the other soccer team played well, even if you won.

But, there’s a catch ⚠️

  • Direct vs. indirect rivals: The closer the competitor, the stronger the impact. It's like complimenting your next-door neighbor instead of someone from three blocks away.
  • The frequency factor: Do it too much, and people might start raising eyebrows. It’s like complimenting your friend’s cooking every day – eventually, they'll wonder if you’re just after free meals (did I mention you make the best pizza? 🍕😋)

How to Implement ✅

  1. Spot the opportunity: Look for moments to praise competitors – maybe they’ve won an award, launched a cool product, or did something awesome for the community.
  2. Don’t overdo it: Keep it occasional. You’re going for genuine, not overbearing.
  3. Watch the backlash: If the competitor tries to one-up your praise, it could backfire on them. Stay classy.

Remember, a little bit of unexpected kindness can go a long way in making your brand stand out. It’s about being secure in your own strengths while acknowledging others.

That's it for this week! Go ahead, give a little shoutout to your competitors and watch the good vibes roll in 😎🏖️

Want to learn more? 🤓

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can dig into the nerdy details in the original marketing study.

Quote of the week 💬

"Flattery in marketing is like seasoning in cooking. A little can enhance the dish, but too much can spoil it!"

About the author
Gabriel Mays, the Co-Founder and CEO of POPSMASH
Gabriel A. Mays
Gabriel Mays' Website
Co-Founder & CEO at POPSMASH
Before POPSMASH, Gabe was a Director at GoDaddy and founded two startups. He was also a Marine Corps Captain, serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. He lives with his wife and two kids on Cape Cod, MA.

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