In fact, low prices would likely give customers the impression that their service might leave something to be desired. As I wrote there, “true sources of advantage are ones you can invest in and they become stronger over time. A brand can create a competitive advantage if it is clear about these three determinants: 1. How to Stay Competitive in Today’s Fast-Changing World There are thousands of fund managers and investment advisors and most of them are very profitable. ^^ A tightly-knit team with a culture of continuous innovation and hustle. Are they paying you more than an alternative solution? Processes and practices can be difficult for competitors to replicate, and as such, they would become unique to you, at least for a while. Therefore, a large distribution network helps with managing your brand presence and obtaining a competitive advantage. Especially if the needs of that industry’s users differ from the average needs and are thus being over — or under-served by the entrenched powerhouse. Explaining a way to organise a list of potential partners, he recommends creating a three-column table and to list each partner in a row. The sources of cost advantage are varied and depend on the structure of the industry. One difference between a two-year old company that has 500 users and a brand-new company with none is that the former has 500 people to guide them. ^^ Access to the unique knowledge of your team, especially as it develops unique insights over time. Brand presence can be a strong source of competitive advantage because people will know your brand when you are present in their vicinity. How well behaved are they? For example, a company might invent a new product, come up with a new process or put technology to use in a new way to gain market share. Your sources of advantage are the strengths that you can offer to any potential strategic partner even in the earliest days of your development. Tangible assets (can be traded or bought, potentially). Fax: 626.628.0309 Companies that capitalize on their sources of competitive advantage — or that build better mousetraps — are more likely to win in a free and open marketplace. They are the reasons that your customers are buying from you and that’s where your advantage lies. People People are the driving force behind most competitive advantage. Below are some examples: • Pricing Strategy:Depending on the capability of an organization, a particular type of pricing strategy can give it an edge over its competitors. In other words, a lean / agile / fast-product-feedback-loop mindset. Part of this is a corporate competency in training and continual learning, which is increasingly valuable as employees move into new roles over time. How to get into product management with ‘the wrong’ background. © 2011-2020 CFO Edge, LLC - This article is only for general information and should not be used in lieu of professional advice. Honing and then maximizing your competitive advantages are perhaps the most effective ways to increase market share and maximize sales and profits. When asked to elaborate on what they believe their business’s competitive advantages are, most owners will talk about their great products or outstanding customer service. Penetrative pricing, as supplemented by cost advantage, allows an organization to enter a new market by selling si… If you have superior methods of producing results you will definitely enjoy competitive advantage. Pasadena, CA 91101, Toll free: 800.276.1750 Established companies, for all the other sources of advantage they may have (e.g., a large number of customers), often also have an unhealthy arrogance. Your users and buyers rarely have all the answers, but the ability to listen to their needs, challenges, and latent opportunities is an enormous advantage. Businesses that have positioned themselves and their products as being of the highest quality generally won’t focus on low price as their USP. And they must help you win customers. But for some companies, it’s smarter to produce a lower quality product and offer it at a lower price to appeal to price-conscious customers. “product strategy”). If you purchase a gold mine, it has the net present value of all likely future mining profits built into its price. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Startups typically have a few sources of advantage, relative to larger companies: speed and agility of product design and launch, deep and focused skills in a particular technology, the sheen of a company fully invested in a new innovation that will catch the attention of potential customers, and a laser-focused team, for example. Honing and then maximizing your competitive advantages is perhaps the most effective way to increase market share and maximize sales and profits. Now Amazon and eBay are two of the most successful examples of new-economy businesses. All Rights Reserved. ^^ A dedicated focus on a specific user segment / specific industry. If you and your managers haven’t spent time discussing ways you can create competitive advantages for your business, it’s long past time to do so. Arthur F. Rothberg, Managing Director, CFO Edge, LLC. IKEA’s sustainable competitive advantage comes from several sources including but not limited to operational efficiency, brand image, strong supplier network, large product line, and cost leadership. ^^ Unique production and distribution model when entrenched competitors are locked into their old models, such as Dell’s approach of built-to-order and ship-direct-to-customer model when Lenovo and others were locked into building generic models and distributing through stores. Knowledge and experience of the buyers and users you are selling to is especially important. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. If so, why? High level of service – Similar to high product quality, some businesses stress exceptional customer service as their USP. They rarely listen to upstarts… Microsoft underestimated Google, Blockbuster underestimated Netflix, and Western Union underestimated the telephone, for example. While I like a lot of what he shares in the book, there is a sentence that should make a red flag go up in the mind of any strategist. One reason Amazon paid $1B for PillPack in 2018 was to get access to its pharmacy distribution rights it had established in all fifty states. Don’t feel bad when the word money appears repeatedly in the third column. There are 6 sources of competitive advantage. Each column would have a heading, he explains: “The headings are: ‘partner name’ …, ‘what they provide’, and ‘what we provide’. For example, in a software company where number of clicks to achieve a task in their product is the central rallying point, every new feature will be judged against this metric; this ultimately leads to a product so optimized against this feature that the company may come to represent the best-in-class ideal of this.

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