What do you know about your competition? Do they know more about you than you know about them? Let’s Answer…
It’s one thing to think you are truly better than your competition–most often, this is a subjective evaluation—it’s another thing to be able to prove it. In our work with companies of all sizes, it is often startling to learn how many CEOs and C-suite executives know little about their competition. Without some comparative data, it is nearly impossible to claim a competitive advantage.
You can’t say — though many do — “we are the leader in the industry”, just because you think you are, or “wish” you were! If you have little or no concrete information about the competition, this is risky business. Nor can you claim being faster, having better quality or more dependable, if you have no solid comparison to your top competitors.
Competitive advantage is based on a solid value proposition. My favorite quote that best defines value proposition is:
“A description of the value that your offering will provide to a customer segment, customer or individual that is relevant, measureable and relative to their alternative choices.”
Source: Future sight consulting
Our clients work hard to determine what is relevant and then we help them make it measurable. What, more often than not, is missing is the answer to “how does what you offer” compare to customers’ alternative choices.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:
- Who are our top two competitors and what is our shared perception of their competitive advantage?
- What is our advantage over them?
- Does our internal team agree on our advantage?
- How do we know it is an advantage; can we prove it?
- Are the things we think are our advantages the most relevant to customers who are making the buying decision?
The most competitive companies are disciplined about seeking and maintaining this information. Start with one key competitor and build your information on them, then add the next, and soon. Keep it up to date.