BUSINESS

How To Maintain Competitive Business Advantage

In an era where companies no longer compete locally but globally, they have no choice other than to up the ante if they want to not only survive, but  to compete successfully in today’s business environment.

This, therefore, calls for developing and implementing a winning strategy in order to meet the challenges in a newly competitive global marketplace.

Consequently, one must take a number of factors into consideration in pursuing and maintaining a competitive business advantage.

Competitive BusinessFirst, a constant watch must be kept on the competition for the following reasons:

  • To maintain price competitiveness
  • To learn how competitors are reacting to market trends
  • To benchmark the company’s position against the competition

Second, establish a good brand that puts customers first. This entails answers to questions such as:

What is the company’s unique selling proposition?

A company must have its own unique story to tell, something that separates it from others, something that’s worth remembering and will make customers want to come back to do business with the company.

Is the company’s product offer consistent?

In using the various communication tools, interaction with consumers must be the same throughout.

Who is the company’s target market?

The company must focus on providing solution to problems that a particular set of consumers have through market research and study.

What is the company’s brand position in the minds of customers?

Create an image of how customers ought to perceive of the company’s brand. Being authentic, transparent, and honest with customers will put the company in pole position.

What space does the company occupy in the media?

Today, social media presence is a must. This is an important way of staying connected to customers.

Third, make sure that the company’s reputation remains intack by making customers feel valued without any form of dishonest dealings or false and misleading advertising.

Fourth, take cue and learn from what makes other brands successful.

Fifth, examine and study the attributes of competitors in terms of their:

  • Mission statement and goals
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Capabilities
  • Customer base
  • Revenue/Profit Margins
  • Marketing strategies
  • Current Product/Service Offerings

Sixth, access marketing intelligence on competitors from resources such as:

  • Employees
  • Trade shows
  • Suppliers or distributors
  • Newspapers
  • Trade publications
  • Government filings
  • Websites
  • Customers

Seventh, make sure the company’s strategy is:

  • Different
  • Price-sensitive
  • Product-specific
  • Convenient

Eight, implement the company’s strategy by keeping the following in mind:

  • Primary goal
  • Primary target market
  • Contingency plan
  • Portfolio analysis

Ninth, maintain the company’s uniqueness by paying attention to the following trends:

  • Lifestyle
  • Technology
  • Economy
  • Technology
  • Government

Tenth, ensure that the company revolves around both internal and external customers.

Davy Desmond, Readers Bureau, Fellow

Edited by Jesus Chan

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