What’s Your Competitive Advantage?

Why you and not them?

How do you create a distinct competitive advantage so that all customers come to you and not your competitors? Your creative advantage is what separates you from your competition, and makes your customers want to go to YOU instead of them. There can be more than one thing that sets you apart from others.

Let’s think about it. You walk into a bookstore and notice there are hundreds of books lined on the shelves. What will make you pick the one that you do?

Is it the color of the book? The fact that its only $1? Or maybe it’s the fact that your favorite character is on the cover?

Begin to examine why you do the things YOU do, so that you can begin to understand why your customers do what THEY do.

Always keep in mind your target market. You aren’t always your target market, and they may be attracted to different things than you.

With your target market in mind, consider what makes them act. What makes them move? Why are they getting off the couch to be a part of your brand?

Back to our bookstore example. You have a book and your target market is 4 year old girls. How would you appeal to that customer? Well, if I were you, my book would be big, bright, and come with a gift (tiara, doll, etc.).

But that doesn’t go far enough. Why? Because, someone already has a big, bright, book with a doll. Therefore you must narrow in on a distinct advantage.

In this case my distinct advantage would be the parents because they are the ones with the money. My big, bright, book with the tiara will have an educational sticker on it so that the parents know that this book is good for their kids.

My competitive advantage is that my book is appealing to children yet has educational value.

I took care of all the other elements that would make my book competitive in the market, but then I narrowed in on one specific aspect to make my book a top seller.

You can do that with ANY type of business. If you sell clothes, maybe for every organic shirt sold you plant a tree. Most companies run to have a celebrity as a competitive advantage, but companies with longevity don’t rely on outside sources. McDonalds, Apple, and Target did not seek a celebrity endorsement to launch their brand. They sought accessibility, value, and affordability to position their brand.

This section of your business plan should be at least two pages in your plan. Investors, banks, and (most importantly) YOU need to know why YOU and not THEM!