There is a chance that sometime this month you bought take-away food. Think back as to why you purchased from that particular restaurant. There was a reason – a very specific reason – whether you realised it or not. Was it the taste? The location? The delivery speed? The price? Or something else?
We choose one company’s product or service over another’s because it offers a benefit. This is of course the company’s competitive advantage. The benefits you offer your clients make all the difference. It is a useful exercise to take a look at your company with X-ray –glasses from time to time. Ask yourself why people are buying from you. Does it make them feel good? Does it save them money? Does it make them smarter or help them avoid pain?
Then make a list of why people buy from your competitors. Think of as many competitors as you can. Once these lists are compiled, compare them. Notice what stands out – for you and your competition. In many cases your competitors may be offering a benefit that you aren’t. But there might also be a benefit that makes you stand out. The more unique benefits you can offer, the better your product or business will do.
You can also ask customers why they buy from you. Ask them what complaints they have including complaints about your competitors. This could uncover services or products that neither you nor your competitors are providing but clients would appreciate very much.
Don’t step into the trap of copying your competitors. The ‘me too’ category will not generate customers. Determine what you can do faster, cheaper or better than your competitors. But, don’t forget what they can offer, solve or do that you can’t. Just accept it and improve your own unique service.
What is your competitive advantage?