Lesson 5: Strategy and Competitive Advantage
Businesses are always looking for a competitive advantage, a way to stand apart from the masses and to offer something that’s just right for a specific target audience. Therein lies the secret. Competitive advantage requires identifying a specific target audience with a clearly defined need, developing and delivering a high-quality and appropriately priced product or service and doing it better than anybody else.
Competitive advantage means just that: being better than the other available alternatives that your target audience has and, in the process, achieving an advantage. It’s not enough to be “just as good as” the competition. Successful strategic advantage falls to those who can deliver a product or service that is better in some way and that is more meaningful to the target audience, says Lin Grensing-Pophal, a marketing consultant and the author of “Marketing with the End in Mind.” High-quality is defined differently by different people, she says, and encompasses all elements of the marketing mix—product, price, place (or access) and promotion.