Lets look into 6 areas where the company can build up its competitive advantage to fight off the competitors. At the end of the day, if you can't find sufficient advantage in the 6 areas, then go back to the drawing board. Your business model will not work!
"We have a very strong R&D team with abundant of capital that allows us to produce the product with the best specification. We are either the (fastest, easiest, safest, most stable, most reliable, most efficient, ...etc) product on the market. If our customers don’t get it from us, they don’t get it elsewhere, because no one else on the market can deliver it"
This usually is a premium product strategy that targets the high end customers. In this scenario your R&D is your core advantage. In this business model, you need to be affluent in your capital to keep the product innovation and specification ahead of the game.
"We have an excellent service team. Our customer service is the best in the class. Our customer service is trained to communicate effectively with our clients, and we have systems in place to help us achieve maximum operation efficiency. A large global team that is constantly servicing our customers taking care of maintenance, error fixing, Q&A, and complaints. Our response time is among the best in the industry"
Is your company a people driven company? Have your company established a culture where your employees will stop at nothing to achieve customer satisfaction. Do you have enough resource to keep your customer happy? Service on a local scale is thing, service on a global scale is a whole other story.
"We have the most efficient (manufacturing, development, service, sales, maintenance...etc.) operation. We have an economy of scale that allow us to deliver products at a cost that others can’t match. Our supply chain is very efficient that allows us to deliver our products with a very short lead time. The combination of low cost and short lead time gives us the competitive edge"
Cost has always been one of the top consideration factors for any customer purchase. Some product and services are less elastics than others, but no doubt that cost is always in the equation. There are many company's that have succeeded tremendously with their cost advantage, despite they only have a mediocre product & service. In the recent years, due to the shaky and pessimistic economy, the cost factor have became evermore important than before.
"We are able to produce personalized products. We can customize to each individual. We can provide a service that money can't buy"
Providing the right to a product, service or experience make you stand out in the market. For instance, high end concierge service an get you concert tickets that are already sold out. An event could only be sold to a exclusive group of people. A car could be customized to your personal favor. This business model usually targets a premium market.
Unique business model
"We don't have the best product and service or competitive pricing but do we have a business model that targets the pain point of the customer that allows us to separate ourselves from the competition?"
Let me provide a example. In the machinery industry, most often customer invest in new equipment based on a forecast. However, the problem is that nowadays forecast are never accurate! Traditionally machinery is sold to customer, and the customers will bear the risk on the expected sales. Hoping that there will be enough sales volume to cover the cost of the equipment investment. To target this pain point , why not rent the machine instead of selling it to the customer? Another example would be to provide an installment for machine purchase at an attractive interest rate. This is the place where business can get creative to help solve the customers' pain point.