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Find It, Hone It, Own It (and Promote It). What’s Your Unique Competitive Advantage?

Posted on: February 15th, 2017

Find It, Hone It, Own ItFor a company to succeed, it is vital to have a ‘unique competitive advantage’, as this is what keeps the business alive and growing. Zeroing on what sets you apart from the rest, not only increases the profits but also keeps you from losing your customer-your most important asset-to your competitor. To implement this key element of corporate strategy you must first find what it is that you do better than your competitors, and then hone it and promote it to the maximum.

Finding your unique corporate advantage
In most cases, your competitive advantage is going to be from one of the three basic sources- Price, Product or Customer Experience. The trick is to pick one and excel at it. Very often organizations play safe by trying to deliver on all three. This can be a very risky strategy, and usually ends badly. A good strategic move would be to pick one advantage and create a strategic alignment across the organization by making sure everyone pitches on this specific advantage.

Validating it in the marketplace
The selected competitive advantage must be honed and validated in the marketplace, because unless your customer values it and is willing to pay for it, it becomes void. See to it that your unique competitive advantage does not suffer from false differentiation, where you have selected the wrong competitive advantage, especially one that the market does not care about. Equally disastrous are uneconomic differentiation, where the customers are unwilling to pay for and unsustainable differentiation, where your differentiator can be easily copied by your competition.

Promoting it to perfection
In order to perfect your competitive advantage, the entire organization, including each and every function, has to comprehend the advantage, and understand their role in delivering it. This is best done by developing functional and practical strategies that deliver on your competitive advantage. You will also have to maintain cross-functional alignment and communication rallying around your unique advantage. Lastly, always remember to align with the marketplace and validate your competitive advantage on a regular basis.

Since revenue growth objectives are directly impacted by your unique competitive advantage, it is vital that you rightly determine your advantage, validate it in the marketplace, and make sure that every function works to promote it in accordance to the organization’s strategic goals.

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