Every successful business is differentiated from its competition ... it could be very unique and significant, or it may be seemingly small and minor. But customers choose one enterprise over another for a reason. Following are some potential sources of value and differentiation to use as a guide when creating a competitive advantage strategy ...
ambiance ... branding ... business model ... community service ... contrived deterrence ... convenience ... copyrights ... cost advantages ... cost advantages independent of scale ... customer relations ... customer responsiveness ... customer service ... delivery ... distinct unique competencies ... economies of scale ... effective sales methods ... efficiency ... experience of doing business ... features ... functionality ... government regulation ... high quality ... image ... innovation ... intellectual property ... limited resources ... location ... low-cost ... manufacturing innovation ... market positioning ... market segmentation ... operational methods ... patents ... performance ... price ... product design ... product differentiation ... product innovation ... product selection ... product-line breadth ... quality ... rarity ... relationships ... reliability ... reputation ... selection ... service ... shopping experience ... supply chain relations ... switching costs ... trademarks ... trade names ... unique capabilities ... value
Accounting Advertising Advisor Analysis Apps Balance Sheet Barriers to Entry Beachhead Benefits Better Books Bottom Up / Top Down Brainstorming Brainwriting Budget Business Flow Business Model Cash Flow Commercialization Communications Competition Competitive Advantage Consultant Corporate Entrepreneurship CQs Creativity Critical Success Factor Culture Customer Decisions Deploy Design Develop Differentiation DXpedition Earn EBITDA Education Effectiveness Elevator Pitch Entrepreneur Entrepreneurship Environment Evolution Executive Summary Exercise Expenses Expertise Failure Finance Financial Objectives Flags Flowchart Focus Funding Fuzzy-to-Firm GizmoGadget Glossary Goals Habits Healthy Venture Hiring HOTI Chart Hypothesis Ideas Ideation Income Statement Industry Industry Research Innovate-A-thon Innovation Innovator Intellectual Property Internet Intrapreneurship Invention Inventory Investor Iteration Knowledge Launch Leadership Lean Startup Learning Legal Luck Machines Management Manpower Market Research Marketing Marketing Brochure Material Media Media Relations Mentor Methods Mindset Mission Mistakes Money Motivation Myths Name News Release Niche Market Objectives Operating Agreement Operations Opportunity Passion Patents People Planning Positioning PR Presentations Price Problems Process Flow Product Development Productivity Profit Progress Promotion Prototype Publicity Questions Refine Research Resources Return on Investment Roadmap Sales SCAMPER SCORE Scorecard Skills Slides Solution Development Solutions Something SPLUCK Start-up Stimulation Strategies Strategy Structure Success SWOTT Tactics Tagline Target Market Team Teamwork Technology Readiness Levels Terminology Terms Thinking Tools Transformation TRL Validation Value Venture Venture Capital Venture Creation Venture Plan Vision Work Worth Writing
The following questions are designed to help you determine whether you have an identifiable competitive edge and whether you are currently capitalizing on it ...
[Thank you, SCORE]
- Have I clearly defined my company and my target market?
- Who are my competitors?
- What is my company's specific strategy for success?
- Do I regularly track my competitors' moves?
- Do I take advantage of my competitors' weaknesses?
- What have I learned from my competitors' mistakes?
- What have I learned from my competitors' strengths?
- Do I take advantage of competitive opportunities?
- Does my company possess a uniqueness that easily separates it from my competitors? What, specifically, is it?
- Would I pay money to use my own product or service?
- How do my prices compare with the rest of my industry?
- Who are my customers?
- Do I have a loyal customer base?
- Am I sensitive to my customers' needs and requests?
- Are my employees trained in customer service?
- What trends do I see for my industry in the future?
- Is my company and my product mix aligned with those trends?
- Do I have the capabilities and resources to compete in the market five to 10 years from now?
- What is my vision for my company five to 10 years from now?
[Thank you, SCORE]