Not Keeping Up with the Joneses: November 2020

If there is one thing that’s been easy to get caught up in over the past few months, it’s the feeling that we are never doing enough and that everyone else’s business or region is thriving more than we are. During times when every decision we make can have such massive impacts, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress and jump on the proverbial ‘bandwagon’ to do what we see others doing.

Yes, there are some great ideas out there, and some fantastic things happening in the tourism world that are innovative and exciting, but that doesn’t mean they are right for your business, region, or industry. Having a sound strategy in place for your business and staying on point with your goals and objectives will benefit your business more than chasing after someone else’s big idea.

So how can we stop ourselves from the futility of chasing the shiny ball?  Trying to keep up with the Joneses is fundamentally flawed, and we’re happy to tell you why – read on for all the answers (and we promise we didn’t copy these from anywhere!).

Businesses are like snowflakes – no two are alike

Every region and business is unique, and the best way to promote yourself is by focusing on what differentiates you from your competition, not what makes you similar. Just because a campaign or program worked well in one area doesn’t mean it’s right for you or your business. Look for the strengths of your business and brainstorm for ideas that will work for you, in your business, right now.

You could end up in a situation where the blind is leading the blind

What makes you think that others know what they’re doing any more than you do? That’s like putting your business direction into the hands of a tarot card reader – they may have some great ideas about what’s happening in your world but that doesn’t mean they can actually read the future. Trust your own intuition and turn to tourism experts at the provincial and regional level to help guide you.

You may miss other opportunities

If you turn a blind eye to anything other than what others are doing you are wasting valuable time that could be spent investing in your own brilliant ideas. You could miss opportunities to form partnerships, create lasting relationships with stakeholders and other business leaders, or – lose your chance to shine.

It could be all smoke and mirrors

Remember that you’re only seeing a portion of the picture, you don’t really know what’s actually happening in the background for your competitors or neighbouring regions. While it may look like a program or marketing campaign is successful, you don’t really have any way of knowing if that’s reality or just smoke and mirrors. Maybe your competitors are looking at your business and wondering why their marketing and promotional campaigns can’t be as awesome as yours?

What you can do instead of jumping on the bandwagon

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but maybe you can steal a little insight from someone else to generate your own ideas. Take a kernel of inspiration from others and grow it into a blossoming tree of innovation, specially created for your environment.

Imagine how much time you will have if you’re not wasting valuable time and energy lamenting the seeming success of others? Remember, there is nothing new in the world, nothing that hasn’t been thought of before (and already exists on Google) so be kind to yourself if you’re struggling to come up with your own big idea. It will come.

Happy wandering!

Julie Mulligan

OHTO’s Marketing Manager