Is the Enemy Really the Enemy?

“Coopetition” is a word that I was unfamiliar with until last week when I heard a client first use it. According to Wikipedia, “coopetition” is a new word coined to describe cooperative competition. In simpler terms, it’s when firms who compete in the same market work together in order to enhance their knowledge of the industry and share ideas while at the same time competing for business.

The word “coopetition” reminded me of a situation in which Berbay was introduced to a similar marketing firm in the Los Angeles area. At first, we thought of each other as competitors – which we were. However, when we began developing a more personal relationship with the firm, we realized the smarter business strategy was to share insights with them (and vice versa). Over several years, not only did we stay ahead of the curve by having two firms with ears to the ground, but we both increased our revenue because we cross-referred clients to each other.

In today’s world, not only should we be learning a new word, but we need to rethink how we view our competitors – are they our enemy or a new source of business?

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