The Importance of Competitive Advantage

Ryan RydellAdvice, Blog, FA Marketing Tips

Although looking inward within your company to see how you are performing is important, looking outward may be one of the neglected aspects of your marketing plan. Being able to decipher where you stand within the marketing environment and how that affects you and your business will help you progress to the lengths you aim to achieve. The marketing environment includes the actors and forces outside marketing that affect marketing management’s ability to build and maintain successful relationships with target customers. This can be attained by spending time in customer and competitor environments and being aware of technology, laws, culturally sensitive issues, the political environment, and environmental concerns. Taking this outside information inward towards your company allows you to now have a competitive advantage.

According to Investopedia, “Competitive advantage refers to factors that allow a company to produce goods or services better or more cheaply than its rivals. These factors allow the productive entity to generate more sales or margins than its market rivals” (Investopedia). Competitive advantage comes from one (or a combination) of six factors.

1. Quality: Can you provide higher quality than competing businesses?

2. Price: Can you offer a lower price on a sustained basis than your competition? Does your higher price reflect quality and/or uniqueness? 

3. Location: Can you find a more convenient location for customers?

4. Selection: Can you provide a wider range of choices than competitors? 

5. Service: Can you provide better, more personalized customer service?  

6. Speed/turnaround: Can you deliver your product/service more quickly than the competition?

After analyzing where you stand within the marketing environment, how can you use that knowledge to improve your competitive advantage?