There are several concepts you must consider to create a sustainable competitive advantage for your business and your brand. Here are some of them:
- Dream big.
- You must have deep insight into your customers' values, attitudes, hopes, aspirations, anxieties, fears, needs and desires.
- Perform deep market segmentation analysis. This should include need segmentation.
- Discover customers' frustrations and pain points, things they wish could work better.
- Address all of those frustrations and pain points.
- Challenge your category definitions and your business model assumptions.
- Consider vertical and horizontal integration.
- Consider product/service bundling and unbundling.
- Drive your business off of proprietary systems, technologies and processes.
- Find a way to make your business scalable.
- Create a business model that benefits from network effects.
- Your business and brand must stand for something and live consistently by a carefully chosen set of values.
- Link your sales and marketing processes and messages seamlessly.
- You must say "no" to revenue sources that are not in your bulls-eye. Otherwise, you will become distracted and be taken off the game that you are best suited to win.
- Actively engage with your customers on a regular basis, even before revenue streams occur.
- Constantly reinvent your business model, products and services. Throw out what doesn't work and keep what does. In this way, continue to evolve. Your competitors will not stand still.
- Stay in the business flow. Stay close to your customers and your markets and your competitors.
- Form as many strategic partnerships as possible. Always try to create a win-win situation.
- Do not try to steal share from competitors. Rather, focus on creating enhanced value with your customers and in the industry. Expand the pie rather than trying to take someone else's slice of it.
- Become an expert and a thought leader.
- Play your own game. Do not get sucked in to matching your competitors' every move.
- Craft your brand's story. Make sure it is emotionally compelling and purchase motivating.
- Find the big influencers in your industry. Befriend them. Learn from them. Influence them.
- Always be honest. Never lie about anything. If you lose your trustworthiness and integrity, you lose everything.
- Remember, your business will only do well if it focuses on helping its customers, employees and business partners. Organizations thrive because they are meeting real needs and helping others achieve their goals.
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