Trust goes a long way in business, particularly in the medical device industry. Healthcare systems adopt devices that are manufactured by brands they trust. Investors back devices they trust. Physicians use and recommend devices they trust. And patients rely on devices they trust.

What if trust was looked at in the competitive picture?

Here are five ways to leverage the competition by building trust

  1. Trust the tried and true. The revered 17th Century writer Charles Caleb Colton famously said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Competitive research reveals precisely what the competition is doing for marketing – from value proposition to media buys and far beyond, as well as provides insight into how your organization can do it better. While outright mimicry is never a good idea, it is encouraged that medical device companies get a 360-degree view on competitors’ activities in the marketplace to ensure true marketing innovation.
  2. Trust cooperation. Competing carmakers Peugeot and Toyota shared components to roll out three versions of a city car: the Peugeot 107, the Toyota Aygo and the Citroën C1. The companies saved money on the shared costs for that particular project, yet still remained fiercely competitive in other areas. While the medical device industry has been sharply competitive, particularly due to sensitive information uncovered during research and development, it may make sense in some cases to create efficiencies or cut costs by cooperating with the competition in manufacturing devices.
  3. Entrust the competition’s expertise. In the spirit of cooperation, it may make sense to private label a competitor’s offerings. This approach may help more readily overcome regulatory hurdles, add complementary products to the distribution channel and increase sales.
  4. Trust your organization’s strengths. Another way to say this is, play to competitors’ weaknesses. Very generally speaking, there are three ways to compete: price, quality, and speed. Perhaps your competition was first to market, becoming the speed demon, but your organization offers a higher quality medical device.
  5. Trust growth strategies. As the old proverb goes, keep your friends close but your enemies closer. Keeping a close eye on and even relationships with competitors may just lead to a merger or acquisition that is exactly the right expansion plan.

“Competition” and “trust” may not historically go hand-in-hand, but in today’s rapidly evolving global medical device marketplace, they simply must.