Your company’s competitive advantage is best defined by answering the question “what makes your company better from your competition?” It could be a unique range of products and services that your company offers or just a spin on the way they are offered which makes customers prefer your company over others. Knowing your competitive advantage is extremely crucial so you can strategically place your organization ahead of others. For this you need to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors and understand how your company can bridge the gaps to improve the system. Another important aspect is understanding your target customers and building strategy to attract them towards your products and services. Successful companies focus much on making their offerings unique to create an advantage that is sustainable over time and helps them outperform their competitors. Many organizations, however, misidentify their competitive advantage and focus on the unimportant factors, which eventually leads to their decline in the market. Correctly identifying and clearly defining your competitive advantage is essential to better develop strategies that support company growth.
Here are a few techniques to correctly identify your company’s unique competitive advantage:
- Competitor Analysis
Performing a competitive audit of the product as well as the marketing strategy is important. It reveals how your competitors sell their products. Find out how they reach the customers, what platforms they use, how frequently they communicate and what results they get. This gives you a fair idea about the marketing tactics and how they work in a given market. Also evaluate their products and services and determine how yours are similar to or different from theirs. This analysis will help you decide if you should maintain the same strategy or opt for a new one. Even spotting a small difference could be helpful. Find out how you can better solve the problems of your customers.
- Collect Feedback from Existing Customers
Interviewing your existing customers through online surveys is a great way of knowing where your product stands in the market. Direct interviews are best performed by a third party to ensure that the information collected is impartial. Customer feedback is crucial information and can give you important insights. Ask them what they best like about your company, what issues they face, what improvement they would like to see and so on. Your competitive advantage might lie amid the answers for which you must carefully analyze them.
- Reach Out to Your Potential Customers
Networking is an essential part of every business. Connect with your potential customers by attending trade fairs, conferences or other industry events and request them for a feedback. Make wise use of technology. Many companies add a poll to their social media accounts or websites. Conducting online surveys are also helpful. Ask your potential customers why they prefer the company they are currently associated with. You can also ask them some of the questions that you ask your existing customers, although the response rates would be lower. Nevertheless, the answers can be insightful and help you determine your competitive advantage or find out how to gain competitive advantage.
- Evaluate your Opportunities
The information you have through feedback and competitor analysis if well evaluated can give you important insights about what makes you better than your competitors, what problems the customers face and how you can solve them. It could help you spot opportunities and develop approaches to refine your techniques. Data analysis can give you a very strong idea of where your company stands and which aspect needs more focus to help it emerge as a unique organization.
- Communicate Your Competitive Advantage
This is another extremely critical step. Communicating your competitive advantage to your existing and potential customers in a convincing manner requires a good strategy. Make sure your claims are supported by proven facts so people find them believable. This is defined as value proposition which ultimately attracts the customers towards your company. Be prepared to provide them with all the answers they need, be it through social media, website or face-to-face events, to make them believe that your company indeed has an advantage that would benefit the customers in better ways. Determining isn’t enough, you also need to learn how to maintain a competitive advantage in business.
Many companies fail to identify and focus on their competitive advantage and keep toiling in the wrong directions. Using these simple steps you can determine yours and strategically stay ahead of the competition. Have you determined your competitive advantage yet?