Gaining a significant competitive advantage in an ever-competing economic world is every strategist’s desire. But, it is not that simple as it seems from an outsider’s perspective, given the cut-throat competition that thrives in the market at all times.
By the way, what constitutes having a competitive advantage? It is the ability to leap ahead from the immediate competition in the market, and the strategy-building associated with it.
Typically, an ideal business strategy is made by going in a thoughtful contemplation on the strengths and limitations of the market competitors. Business strategists seek the gaps that the competitors have left unfilled in terms of delivering the expected product quality, and desired consumer expectations.
Businesses, across the world, gain a competitive edge by identifying and producing attributes that can help throw their competition out of place.
Here, we are listing 5 key strategies that will surely assist those who develop and build business strategy frameworks for their respective organizations:
Differentiation Strategic Framework
Under this strategic framework, a strategy leader would seek a unique strength in their product catalog that separates it from the market alternatives. Rolex and Nike are two such brands that exercise this very strategic blueprint. Both have gained a unique status in their respective markets with the exclusive features they offer in their products that no one else in the market can imitate, or compete with.
Businesses that love to, or are experts at minimizing the costs of the produce, usually fall into this category. Offering quality products at the lowest possible prices is the key principle to follow under this business strategy approach. You beat the competition, simply by offering better pricing to consumers.
Amazon and Walmart are the two global business leaders who religiously follow this effective strategy.
Some organizations, or businesses, take the lead in the market by discovering and developing innovation in the respective industry. For instance, in the healthcare industry, Insightec elevated itself by introducing a new technology to treat brain tumors and related cancers which involved disease-treatment without making a single cut in the patient’s body.
This way, they gained a distinct competitive edge over conventional surgeries that bring along with them – the pain, long recuperation period, and the life-risk.
Operational Excellence Strategy
Some companies lead the markets simply by the virtue of being the best at what they do. FedEx is one such great example that leveraged this strategic framework. Even after the entry of a plethora of new companies providing similar solutions, it never lost its competitive advantage to date and is a global market leader in the shipping and freight services domain.
Nobody is being able to match the process excellence of FedEx, in terms of how it leverages data and extracts the maximum out of it. Besides, strictness towards the timely delivery of consignments is what makes it stand out in the shipping business. When you do things better than most of the people in the world, you straightaway gain a significant competitive advantage.
Technological Advancement Strategy Framework
The firms that leverage the most advanced technologies of their time within their respective industries usually gain a big competitive edge. At present too, the firms making the best use of the current disruptive technologies are leading the markets they function in.
For instance, California-based SpaceX of Elon Musk is leading the aerospace industry along with the federal US body, NASA. SpaceX keeps the intention of colonizing Mars with its launch of technologically-rich space-exploration vehicles, that in the future, will transport humans to Mars.
The upcoming times will bring an increased level of competition across varied markets. Strategy leaders must take note of this very fact, and prepare for the near future with clear thoughts in their minds regarding strategy-selection and ways of implementation. The above-presented strategic frameworks can be further studied at length before you give in to one of them, as different strategies work differently for different industries.
Choose wisely, keeping in mind the industry you operate in, the market forecasts related to that specific industry sector, the future-suitability, and the disruptions about to emerge in the near and distant future.