Value Discipline Diagram

Three Ways to Beat Your Competitors

By Published On: January 24th, 2018

This is a helpful way to think about how you can best focus your limited resources (time, energy, money, and people) so that you keep ahead of your competition in a meaningful way (in the eyes of your customers).

Your customers will pick you if you are the leader in one of the three following areas and are seen as being ‘good enough’ in the other two:

1. Operational Excellence:

How efficient are you at producing your offering / service / product?

Think ASDA, IKEA, and McDonalds.

Here the focus is on ‘stack it high and sell it cheap’. The winner is the one who can produce their product for the lowest cost. This normally boils down to economies of scale, so the bigger your factory, the cheaper you can produce one of your widgets and the less you are able to charge without going banktrupt.

It can be brutal competing in this way and there will always be someone looking to do it cheaper.

2. Customer Intimacy:

How ‘in touch’ are you with your customers, listening to them, and learning from them?

Think Zappos, Amazon, and You.

This is all about offering a custom service. Taking the time to get to know your customers, figuring out what it is that they really want and then giving them just that. It takes a lot of effort, but there is a lot more room here and you are rarely judged on price, you are judged on ‘fit’.

3. Product Leadership:

How good are you at creating new things to sell to your customers?

Think Apple, Tesla, and Henry Ford.

There is a constant battle to stay ahead here, big investment is required to be at the cutting edge of your field. Big risks, but potentially massive rewards, so long as you can keep churning out the next great thing.

There you have it, three ways to stay ahead of your competitors. It’s your choice to make and not choosing doesn’t end well. I know which one I choose.

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Written by : Mark Rowland

Mark's been working in and interested in all things marketing since 2010.