What is a competitive advantage?
Your business’ competitive advantage is, by definition, something your competitors do not have. It’s the unique elements of your business, which make you stand out and keep your customers coming back time and time again. It’s your ‘DNA’.
Every business has a competitive advantage – without it, as rightly indicated by the late Jack Welch, you wouldn’t be able to compete successfully within your marketplace. However, defining this advantage, and harnessing it for sales or marketing purposes, can be challenging. It can be especially difficult for a business owner or a team member who works within the business every day.
When planning your marketing and communications activity, understanding your competitive advantage is the best place to start. It can act as the foundation for your messaging across all of your business’ communications.
Understanding your benefits, competitors and target markets
To determine your advantage, you need to have a clear picture of three, key business elements: benefits, competitors and target markets.
Defining the benefits of your product or services can help you to articulate what it is that makes your customers use your product or services, rather than those of your competitors.
Regularly researching your competitors and their product or service offering will help you to better understand the market you’re competing within.
And finally, understanding who your target market is – including their goals, motivations and pain points – can help you to ensure every piece of communication, and the messages behind it, is targeted and unique to the audience you’re trying to reach.
Defining your competitive advantage
Once you have a clear understanding of the above, you can begin to define your competitive advantage.
Simon Sinek defines a business’ competitive advantage as it’s ‘how’: the true differentiator of your product or service, and the way your business’ purpose is supported.
That being said, to define your unique advantage, ask yourself the question: how do we do things differently from anyone else?
Does your business operate to a zero-waste policy? Is your support service available 24 hours a day? Do you have industry recognised accreditations? These are all things that could define the difference between your business and a competitor.
Using your competitive advantage to fuel business communications
Your competitive advantage can act as the foundation for all business communications. It clearly articulates your differentiator, in a way that appeals to your target market, by giving clear information on how your product or service can help to meet customer’s needs and achieve their goals.
By positioning your business’ product or service as a solution, customers will be encouraged to get in touch, converting to sales leads and contributing to overall, sustained business growth.
Do you need advice on defining your competitive advantage? Get in touch.