Does your company have a competitive advantage over others?
You might say "Yes" immediately followed by an explanation such as “We’re better.” or “We deliver products with superior quality.” or “Our price is low.” But such broad statements won’t define the competitive advantage of your company, even if all of that is true.
You need a more specific answer, something that you do differently than your competitors or something that you can prove either with figures or facts.
Your advantage may be better reputation or longer years in the business. You may have rolled out a unique product or maybe you were the first one to introduce it to the market. Or you may have a larger sales force or better customer service or may have your office at more locations. However, these reasons might not be enough. It is not necessary that another company must have a product that is same as yours, any company that provides the solution to the same problem that you are solving, addresses the same customers, is your competition.
You need to give your customers a reason to pick you over your competitors, but many companies are unable to do so due to the following flaws:
- They think they have an advantage, but actually, they don’t have one.
- They fail to recognize their advantage.
- They may know about their advantage but fail to mention it in front of their clients/customers.
- They think their “strengths” are their competitive advantage.
- They neglect considering their advantage over the competitors while making strategic decisions.
What is your advantage over the competitors?
First, compare yourself with the competitor and take note of your advantages vs. your competitor’s advantages. These advantages may be product, price, or service. Chances are, there might be some areas where you both are equal. You can also apply a SWOT analysis (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) to measure your advantages against your competitor’s.
Here are some steps that you can take to set yourself apart from your competitors:
- Respond immediately to customer’s queries, complaints or contact. Customers prefer to stay loyal to a company that provides them satisfactory customer service and support. A quick response to a potential customer may surely benefit you in the future.
- Even if you have a small business, be professional. While large companies need to balance their size along with keeping a personal feel, smaller businesses can maintain a professional environment and can still offer more intimate experience to their customers.
- Show your customers that you care by resolving their problems as quickly as possible. Offer a strong guarantee, this shows how committed your company is to quality. And take the necessary action to resolve the issue.
Regardless of the product or service that you offer, if you cannot do all the above-mentioned things effectively, your business will miss the opportunity to increase sales, market share and brand awareness.