Understand the Competitive Advantage Concept
To define your competitive advantage, first consider these three value disciplines. Which fits best for your business’s strengths? What matters most to your customers?
#1 – Operational Excellence
This competitive advantage powers the ability to produce products and deliver services at a lower cost. Operating at the highest levels of efficiency means reducing the cost of doing business – a savings that can be passed along to the customer. Examples of companies that focus on Operational Excellence as their competitive advantage include Amazon, McDonald’s and Walmart.
#2 – Innovative Technology
This competitive advantage is all about quality and cutting-edge technology. Companies that offer superior products and services enjoy customers who are willing to pay a premium because of the brand’s reputation, dependability and (often) positioning as a status symbol. Examples of companies that focus on Innovative Technology as their competitive advantage include Apple, Mercedes, Sony and Rolex.
#3 – Customer-First Values
This competitive advantage is all about developing long-lasting, personal relationships with the customer. By investing in the time to nurture “intimacy” with their base, companies enjoy more loyal customers who are willing to pay more for the product or service on which they’ve come to rely. Examples of companies that focus on Customer-First Values include TD Bank, Harley Davidson and many locally based consulting, law, and financial advisor firms.
It’s time to ask yourself: what can we start doing to embrace our strengths, solidify our competitive advantage and begin to distinguish ourselves from the competition?