How To Leverage Your Competitive Advantage
Leadership needs to identify and understand the specific asymmetries between your offer and your competitors’ offer. For example, if you can produce your product at a lower cost then your competitor you have a competitive advantage. However, how you use that advantage can make a significant difference.
Much of the following information comes from UCLA Professor Richard Rumelt’s discussion of the sources of power and how to overcome obstacles in his book on good strategy/ bad strategy,
The advantage is not generally across the board, It depends on which products and which applications, knowledge and tastes, etc. There is no such thing as having an advantage across the board to all customers,
For advantages to be sustained, competitors must not be able to duplicate them or the resources underlying the like patents, trademarks, talent, economies of scale, network effects, etc. Apple is a good example.
Competitive advantage and profitability are not equal. You can’t make money or get wealth by simply having, owning, buying, or selling a competitive advantage. The connection between competitive advantage and wealth depends on the interaction between the product and the market, Wealth increases when competitive advantage increases or when the demand for the resources underlying it increases.
Increasing value requires a strategy for progress on at least 1 of 4 different fronts,
- Deepening the advantages
- Broadening the extent of advantages
- Creating a higher demand for advantaged products
- Strengthing the isolating mechanisms that block easy replication and imitation by competitors
Therefore, a competitive advantage is interesting when one has insights into ways to increase its value,
Have you identified your competitive advantage overall and product by product, and how you are going to exploit their value?