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What’s Your Competitive Advantage?

You want to start a marketing campaign. The time is right, you have the funds (and the courage) and you’re ready to go.

Stop.

Take a deep breath.

Now ask yourself this very important question: What is your company’s competitive advantage?

Do you know the answer? What makes your company different from your competitors? What makes you a competitive choice? It could be the value proposition, a proprietary piece of technology or history in the industry.

If you own a restaurant it could be a special ingredient that makes your pizza taste better than others. Or it could be the fantastic ambiance and the fact your waitresses look like models. Or that fact that when every other restaurant is charging $15 for a plate of pasta, you’re charging $6.

Whatever your competitive advantage, it will be the key ingredient to your marketing campaign. While the aesthetics of the campaign doesn’t depend on this, the actual messaging does. Your competitive advantage helps form your company’s brand, which runs throughout all parts of your business. The marketing becomes an extension of the brand.

MacDonald’s is low cost food that appeals to the entire family – family and value. Apple is cutting-edge technology with a coolness factor – innovation. Lacoste is clothing that is classic and stylish – high-end couture with a history.

If you’re unable to figure out what you’re competitive advantage is, then you need to look at your business and potentially make some changes. If there’s nothing differentiating your company from others in your industry, then there’s a good chance you’ll soon become roadkill.

Truly successful companies are those that have elements that are unique to them, which competitors cannot replicate. Look at replacing the business model, product or operational procedures. Build a better mousetrap, or at least make your mousetrap look better than others on the market.

Figure out what your company’s competitive advantage is, then use that as the base of the marketing campaign. Regardless of the tone of the campaign, highlight your competitive advantage and showcase what makes you the best choice for the customer.

As cheerleaders say: “Be Aggressive! B-E Aggressive!”

But don’t start any work until you’re clear about your competitive advantage.

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