In today’s blurb we want to talk to you about how to identify your competitive advantage. Every business should be able to answer a simple question- “Why should a customer buy from you rather than from your competition?” Simply put, having a competitive advantage is the reason your business is surviving and growing. It is what makes you stand out from the rest of the herd. To make your business a success in this overcrowded market, which is true for many of us, you need to market your business’ competitive advantage. Unfortunately, however, many business owners and marketers fail to reap the full benefits of their competitive advantage by either not identifying it correctly or by failing to promote it fully and wholeheartedly to their prospects. I bet you’re nodding your head in agreement but you’re probably also wondering, where do I start. Well, you can start by trying to come up with a solid list of competitive advantages.
Competitive Advantage as a Benefit
I think of a competitive advantage as a benefit your customer obtains when they choose to do business with you and think particularly of those that they obtain with you that they wouldn’t get if they chose to do business with your competition, so you can ask yourself, what do I have to offer that appeals to my customers? What draws customers to my business instead of to my competitors? Then you can ask yourself things like, what do my competitors offer that I don’t that draws prospects to them instead of to me, what changes do I need to make to draw those customers to me and to increase my profits at my company? Your challenge is going to be this. You need to focus on tangible, sometimes called deliverables. They have to be precise and they really have to be quantitative. In many cases, they’re real actions and behaviors that make your company different from your competitors are important to define precisely. Your competitive advantage could be your product, could be your features, or it could be your service, but try to delve beyond that to identify things around customer service, price, reputation, your employees, innovation, relationships, even your location.
For example, consider whether you offer quick online ordering, home delivery, loyalty programs, maybe a money back guarantee or perhaps excellent customer service and accessibility that’s not available through a competitor. If you think your list is not solid enough to realize that you may need to go further, good market research and in-depth customer research can really help you identify your customers’ needs and increase your competitive edge. Once you have a list of competitive advantages, you’ll want to use them to establish your own unique brand identity. To do that, you’ll have to draw up your own unique selling proposition based on those advantages that are tangible or deliverable as you make up your list of what to find your business in your market. Here are a few rules you may choose to follow. Number one, a competitive advantage should always be objective, not subjective. Don’t use fuzzy words like quality customer service without supporting your claim with numbers, statistics, or superlative adjectives, it must be quantifiable and not random.
Competitive Advantages Must be Unique to Your Business
Think about it, which statement is more powerful? We are reputable and trustworthy, or our customer retention rate is three times more than that of our closest competitor. Number three, your competitive advantages must be unique to your business and preferably your competition should not be able to match them. Do you offer your customers or pricing guaranteed than stress? How much your business save some money and by how much? If not price, it can be guaranteed on-time delivery, better payment options, et cetera. Finally, in number four, don’t dabble in [inaudible] shapes. Rather be specific when stating your competitive advantages. For example, good service doesn’t set your business apart because what defines good service? It may be different from individual to individual. Instead, be detailed about what you mean by good service such as we’re open 24, seven or our delivery is three times faster than so and so.
Once you’ve listed your company’s deliverables or Tangibles, then you can craft a clear and simple competitive advantage statement to highlight these ideas and to communicate clearly to your customers what your unique selling proposition is. The competitive advantages can be used meaningfully in all of your marketing materials such as your site, your blog, your newsletter, social media, et Cetera, and even in the sales process to really differentiate your products and services from all the rest. Staying unique in an overcrowded market and being able to communicate your competitive advantage very well is ultra important. The last thing you want is for competitors to outperform you and for your business out of the way. We hope you have found this information helpful. We invite you to please connect with us on twitter at directive group, and for more information about this topic or any other digital marketing topic, please visit us at directive group.
I hope you learned a bit about Your Competitive Advantage!
Upcoming blurb topics will include the 3 part discussion on Building an online presence and so much more, so again, be sure to check in each week at our HostLabs Lingo Blog for new articles.
We would love to have your comments since we are just starting with blurbs and if you have any suggestions on future blurbs or questions on things we cover in future articles,