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Competitive Advantage

What does Competitive Advantage mean?

Competitive refers to the ability of an organisation to do better than its competitors in the same industry or market. It also refers to the elements that enable a business to provide clients with better and more valuable services than its competitors. These elements enable the producing unit to earn higher sales or higher margins than its competitors.  

A multitude of elements contribute to competitive advantages, including cost structure, branding, product quality, distribution network, intellectual property, and customer service.

competitive advantage

What is the difference between competitive and comparative advantage?

Some of the criticisms of comparative advantage are addressed by competitive advantage. Competitive advantage is based on the assumption that low-cost labour is available everywhere and that natural resources are not required for a healthy economy.

Comparative advantage, on the other hand, might drive countries to specialise in exporting primary goods and raw materials, trapping them in low-wage economies due to trade terms. Competitive advantage seeks to address this problem by emphasising the need of optimising scale efficiencies in commodities and services that command high prices (Stutz and Warf 2009).  

What are the three types of a competitive strategy?

Michael Porter, a professor at Harvard Business School, identified three strategies that businesses may utilise to overcome competition. These approaches may be applied to all kind of businesses, whether they are product-based or service-based.

1. Cost leadership strategy

A company's ability to produce a product or service at a lower cost than its competitors is known as cost leadership. If a company can create the same quality product for less money, they have a competitive advantage over their competitors. As a result, customers will receive a pricing value.  

2. Differential strategy

When a company's products or services differ from those of its competitors, it gains a differential advantage. To generate unique concepts, the company will require strong research, development, and design thinking. Delivering excellent quality to customers could be one of these improvements to the goods or service. Customers therefore become willing to spend more for a product or service that stands out from the competition.

3. Focus strategy

The goal of a focus strategy is to get firms to focus on a few target markets rather than trying to reach out to everyone. Smaller firms generally utilise this method since they may not have the finances or skills to target everyone. Customers' requirements and how their products or services can better their daily lives are usually the focus of businesses that adopt this strategy. Some businesses may even allow customers to provide feedback on their product or service using this manner.  

What is the concept of positioning?

The concept of positioning is crucial in marketing. The primary goal of positioning is to establish favourable perceptions of a company in comparison to its competitors. As a result, it provides a competitive edge. This positioning, or competitive advantage, is based on instilling in the target population the appropriate "image" or "identity." This positioning decision entails deciding which core competencies to emphasise and grow upon.

Internal factors of competitive advantage to consider:

Corporate identity and core competencies are the two underlying internal elements of competitive advantage.

1. Corporate identity

An organization's reality is its corporate identity. It refers to the organization's particular traits or core skills. It's the image of the company that people have of it. All official and informal communication sources, through a range of media, by which the firm outsources its identity to its audiences or stakeholders are referred to as corporate communication. Corporate communication serves as a link between a company's identity and its image or reputation.

2. Core competencies

A company's competitiveness is determined by its ability to create core skills. A specialised knowledge, technique, or skill, for example, is a core competency. Yang (2015) stated that establishing core competencies and effectively implementing core capabilities are crucial strategic measures for every organisation in order to pursue high long-term profits, based on an evaluation of a long-term development model.

Finally, management's ability to unite corporate-wide technology and production abilities into competences that enable individual enterprises to respond swiftly to shifting opportunities can provide significant advantage.  

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