competitive advantage

Competitive Advantage: Are you different from your competitors?

Upnify Editorial Team - 3 de octubre, 2022

Sales Training

he goal of marketing is to create a difference in the eyes of your prospects. To do this, we must generate a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

The goal of marketing: To create a difference in the eyes of your prospects. Let´s learn more about competitive advantage.

In the modern business world, where each market segment and any line of business has multiple suppliers (i.e., several companies offering the same thing), the real objective of marketing is to achieve -in the perception of the target market-, a difference in our favor.

In other words, our marketing must not only project our image and make us known to the potential customers we are interested in, but also communicate a difference so that prospects can locate us perfectly -we are in their ´top of mind´ and understand how we are different from the competition.

The factors that differentiate us from the competition are diverse, for example:

 

  • Superior service.
  • Outstanding quality of other suppliers.
  • Speed in the various stages of the business.
  • A greater variety than others.
  • Punctuality in the delivery of goods or services.
  • A very solid and convincing brand and marketing image.

 

Well, our marketing must be able to demonstrate compelling reasons why when a buying process is initiated in our prospects, they are very clear why they should come to us in a preferential way and over the other offers of the competition.

 

Unique Selling Feature (USF): your differentiating factors.

 

The difference that our prospects must perceive through our marketing is what we call Unique Selling Proposition (USP). Another applicable name is our company´s competitive advantage.

 

It is the honest and direct answer to the difficult question of why should prospects buy my goods or services over those of my competitors.

 

Competitive advantage is the real and sustainable difference that makes our product or service cost what we ask for it and have real value to our customers.

While we must identify value-added points that differentiate us from the competition, we must be careful in three areas:

  1. Elements of differentiation relevant to my customers (from their point of view, not so much from my point of view).
  2. Differentiation elements sustainable over time.
  3. Differentiation elements that can become part of a regular work or service system, this means, that do not depend on the capabilities or skills of the owner or a specific person.

Competitive advantage must be related to what the average customer in an industry is most bothered or concerned about (their pain). If we can develop just such a strength that assures the consumer or customer that he will not face such an annoyance or inconvenience, he will respond favorably.

 

For a moment, let´s free ourselves from the constraints of thinking about ´budget restrictions´or ´available infrastructure´ and define, perhaps with our work team, at least 3 things that -if we were to implement them- would be the trigger for the exponential growth of our business.

 

Once we identify and develop a true competitive advantage, it becomes the backbone of our entire persuasive communication scheme: our marketing will refer to it, our sales pitches and the way we sell, and our customer service systems will focus on taking care of and strengthening that advantage. Moreover, we can guarantee it in writing, and that will build our prospects' confidence and allow us to obtain more sales.

If you don not have a real competitive advantage yet, it is time to ask yourself the questions necessary to build it.

 

Another differentiating factor: a written guarantee

 

Another competitive advantage, let´s not forget, consists of guaranteeing strict compliance with what we offer in exchange for which the customer is giving us his money.

 

As responsible businessmen, we are going to answer for the defects of the products and services we offer to our customers, to make them happy. So why not does it in writing? A written warranty will give greater confidence to our prospects and customers since they will have evidence that we stand behind the product or service we sell. And it's a differentiator because almost no one does it, let alone in writing, which could be an excellent competitive advantage.

 

It is not true that people are going to take unfair advantage of the warranty, we do not live surrounded by people who are looking to take advantage of others.

 

So, if we offer a written guarantee, written in clear and objective terms, determining the scope and restrictions (it is a good idea to have the lawyer review it), if the guarantee has an attractive presentation, it becomes a good tool to attract prospects and convert them into clients. Likewise, retaining those who allow us to serve them is in itself a great advantage.

 

If you have found your market niche, you are no longer competing on price.

Successful marketing is identifying the right target market for our product or service.  

 Although -at any given time-, all people or companies could buy what I offer, for my marketing to be successful, I need to focus on that group that needs the good or service I sell, that can afford it, and that can give me the volume and profitability of the business I expect.

 

Again, the characteristics of my ideal target market are:

  • That they feel the need (that they have already identified it) or that I can educate them towards the identification of that need.
  • That their economic, social, income, and living standard characteristics make it possible for them to pay the price I ask.
  • That the number of buyers under the above characteristics is sufficient and growing in that market.

 

If I properly identify the market I should focus on, it is likely that -if I develop the competitive advantages that this market appreciates, values and I know how to communicate them effectively-, I can sell successfully, without having to be the cheapest.

 

For example, in the laundry and dry-cleaning business, if I place myself in an area with a high presence of young households with working parents, with adequate income and if I provide ample parking facilities and much faster service than the competition, in addition to an agile treatment and home service, I can have a successful business. Possibly our customers value the characteristics of our service and attention, beyond the price, then we will have created a competitive advantage.

 

What actions will you take in your business and in your life, to make the competitive advantage you have in your company or business achievable?