What does having a competitive advantage really mean?

Some may argue that there is no reason to have a competitive advantage, but there is a strong case to be made for setting what you have to offer apart from those in your industry. Here’s why.

    1. Customers will place a higher value on what you have to offer. It’s pretty clear that your differentiating factor is something that makes your stand out among your competitors. Having a lower price is one way to do this, but in a world where branding is taking over, setting your price lower can erode customers’ perception of the quality you offer. Differentiating your offering based on the best product or highest quality service is a better bet when it comes to blowing past competitors. Focus on creating something that customers truly value that no one else has and they’ll pay for it.

      2. It’ll pay off in the long run. Having what’s called a sustainable competitive advantage – one that endures in the mind of the customer – can carry your company through challenging times. A sustained competitive advantage can be based on strong customer loyalty (where you exceed their expectations) or outstanding product innovation (constantly creating a better product). These are just a couple of examples. The point is, companies that recognize the need to continually improve find out it’s one of the best ways to maintain revenue despite economic challenges.

      3. You are the one customers will think of first. Let’s face it, customers have short attention spans and will often go for the latest and greatest product out there. However, if you have a competitive advantage you’ll remain at the top of their minds for a longer period of time because you’ll be harder to beat.

      Creating a competitive advantage takes some effort. It should include an assessment of your company’s strengths and weaknesses compared to your competitors. It’s also an iterative process; it’s something that should be reviewed on an on-going basis to ensure you stay one step ahead and be the leader based on what sets you apart from the pack.

      For more information about how to create your own competitive advantage check out the competitive assessment tool at www.ratioreports.ca

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