The term “Foollowing” is the combination or two common words: “Fool” and “Following”. It primary usage is to refer to dumb things companies do just because their competitor does.

Consider the practice of doubling consumer coupons. Kroger, Hollywood Markets, and Spartan Stores doubled coupons in the Detroit area throughout the 80s and 90s. None of these grocers like doing it – but none wanted to be the first to stop the practice. Nobody remembers who started this practice but they agree there will be a consumer revolt when someone is first to stop it.

However, Walmart Super Centers did not practice following when they entered the Detroit market. Instead they relied successfully on their image of no-gimmick low prices. By not foollowing they escaped the unknown impact of manufacturer’s coupons.

There are plenty of other examples.in the business world. When Kmart saw the success of the dollar store they decided to foollow the concept by adding dollar sections to many of their larger stores. However the failed to fully capture the spirit of the greenback pricing. Customers did not relate to the consistency of a planogram driven area as opposed to the spontaneity of one-time offerings that dollar consumers enjoyed. On the other hand, Target did not engage in foollowing. They took the concept and went entirely with special one-time purchases. Their dollar sections were highly successful while the dollar aisle at Kmart lived a short life.