What’s Your Competitive Advantage that will help beat your competitors? |
This article asks the following question. What’s Your Competitive Advantage that will help beat your competitors? Understanding competitive advantage is one of the most powerful things you should know. As the more certain about competitive advantage, the more confident your decision making. And then act positively.
The first place to start is to ask yourself a straightforward question. Which sometimes is very difficult to answer. Do you really have a competitive advantage over your competitors or market? Dont brush over this question and say yes. “Of course, we have. We have this level of revenue. And are making this profit. And we have these customers etc”. But are you competing as a “me-too” offer, or do you really have a competitive advantage? But, chasing your competitive advantages is rather like catching chickens in a field. You will eventually find a way of catching that chicken. But keeping hold of it is no easy feat. And what about the other chickens? Get chasing.
Keep it going
Yes, it’s an ongoing process to ensure your competitive advantage remains. Your competitive advantage will never stay the same. So, isolating, defining and understanding your competitive advantage is essential. It enables you to make decisions and act to leverage your advantage. And you will find significant growth from it. It will be one of the main areas for your growth.
You have created a new financial application that is taking the world by storm? Then you are riding on the crest of a wave. You are like Leonardo DiCaprio on the bow of the Titanic. But you know what happens to the Titanic. Something comes along to open your competitive advantage up to the elements. And also, your investors get a cold. And they start taking more interest and asking those questions you wish they wouldn’t.
Most businesses have more minor barriers to entry than Titanic’s iceberg. So if even those with unique offerings could have a problem. And those businesses with soggy bottoms have to be really careful. Your competitive advantage will allow you to avoid the iceberg and plug your holes. That’s enough of the salty seafaring analogies. Now onto the preeminent competitive strategy expert. Harvard professor Michael Porter and his three main competitive advantages. These are cost leadership, differentiation and focus.
1. Cost Leadership
In cost leadership, you look to become the low-cost producer in your industry. So economies of scale, new technology and preferential pricing of raw materials.
a differentiation strategy you look to be unique in your industry in a way customers see the value.
Focus means going niche in your industry. A focus on one or more industry segments and build your strategy to serve them and ignore other sectors. Other aspects are covered in Porter’s main competitive advantages, icluding brand image, customer service, management, location, distribution.
A. Brand Image
Your brand and message should communicate the trust customers have in it. A brand with a poor reputation means they are not trusted to provide a quality product or service. So in turn, will their fantastic technology not be trusted either?
B. Customer Service
Everyone says they have excellent customer service. But the proof is in how it is actually done in the real world. When something goes wrong, the experience customers face will develop a loyal customer. Or someone who will never come back again. Do it right, and it will enhance your brand and increase its reputation.
A motivated and organised workforce is essential. An unmotivated team will provide a lower quality of service and inefficiencies. And higher staff turnover also hits the bottom line.
D. Distribution network and location
A good distribution network allows you to get raw materials from your suppliers. And inturn your products to the buyers in a timely way. Located near to your customers will also increase efficiency and speed. Amazon got its distribution network nailed to create a competitive advantage. But they are now building local depots to ensure next day (or same-day delivery) is achieved. Being close to your customer also helps in terms of the cost of getting your product to the customer.
E. Economies of Scale
You will enjoy economies of scale and lower unit costs as you grow. You are potentially bringing a cost advantage by charging lower prices to customers.
Proprietary technology and business processes will provide you with a substantial competitive advantage. The more you innovate, the more difficult it is for your competitors to beat you. And if you get it right, it’s perhaps the quickest way to a significant competitive advantage. Still, a lot of time and resources are needed to maintain and develop a competitive advantage. It may not happen overnight. But always constantly look to:
Innovate Find new products, Demand excellent customer service from your team Look at new ways to get your message across. With cool, innovative ways or via traditional marketing techniques. If you do, there will be significant growth.
What’s Your Competitive Advantage that will help beat your competitors?
You can’t win every account. But by finding your competitive advantage means you will win more than you lose. And if you win or if you lose, win/loss analysis is vital to tell you why and how you can improve. This article asked what’s your competitive advantage that will help beat your competitors? Understanding competitive advantage is one of the most powerful things you should know. We defined the types of competitive advantage open to you. And introduced you to Micheal Porter.
Cheeky chicken art by Hana Oliver
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