Give Your Brand a Sustainable Competitive Advantage.
To leverage a competitive advantage, you must know the assets, abilities, or features that allow you to out-perform your competition. This competitive edge sets you apart from other brands and makes you the preferred choice by customers. Many business leaders agree that without such an advantage, you shouldn't even enter the market. Singular assets may be comparable if your product or service is similar in nature to other options; however, combining competitive advantages creates an edge that lasts for an extended period of time and can't be easily imitated by competitors. These sustainable competitive advantages create a stronger brand experience and, ultimately, more popularity, a stronger reputation, and higher lifetime value of customer acquisitions. Why is a sustainable competitive advantage important? Developing multifaceted competitive advantages will also allow you to maintain control of your market share and fend off competition, preventing them from believing they can enter your market space and make the same claims you do.
What Is A Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
First, let's work on understanding what a sustainable competitive advantage looks like. Singular competitive advantages could be price, service, speed, or product quality, but it's important to realize that leaning too heavily on one specific advantage leaves the door open for competitors to match or even beat you. For example, if you're the low-cost provider in your market, it's only a matter of time before another business undercuts you on price. This is what makes sustainable competitive advantages so important; they can't be replicated without major investments that most businesses aren't willing to make or simply can't match.
If your brand offers a combination of meaningful advantages, customers will be more likely to go out of their way to be loyal to your brand. They'll wait longer, pay more, drive further, and tell their friends and family about their customer experience. Therefore, a brand that delivers a unique, convenient experience that provides social value and is tailored to the customer's specific needs maintains a more sustainable advantage than a business that only delivers on one of those areas.
So what is the competitive advantage of branding?
By understanding the unique attributes that differentiate you from your competition, and by understanding what your customers truly crave, you can carve a unique position in the market and create a brand that leverages your specific advantages. These can include unique offerings, efficiency gains, technological innovations, or superior services. All of your messaging, visual cues, branded experiences, etc. should be tailored to shine a light on your multifaceted competitive advantages. By creating initiatives to solidify these concepts in the mind of your customers, you'll create brand advocates who will spread your brand story for you. Eventually, you'll begin to spin the flywheel of business which is, at its core essence, branding.
How do you get started?
A more comprehensive understanding of your customers’ wants and needs will help identify new opportunities for competitive advantages. Surveys, focus groups, and customer interactions can provide this beneficial insight, and will mean a world of difference to your customers if they know you’re listening. Once you understand your customer’s needs and wants, you can identify which ones you're able or willing to fulfill. Create clear goals, strategies, and processes to uphold your promise to meet those needs and exceed expectations.
Sustainable competitive advantages can be attained by operating a well-defined brand strategy. This is why it's important for businesses to understand both, as one cannot exist without the other. In fact, your competitive advantages should be seen as a result of your brand story. If you're ready to take your brand to a new level, then it's time to give your brand strategy some attention. Contact Quill Creative today to start discussions with a brand strategist and lay the foundation for long term sustainable success.