What is a Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
As we dive deeper into the business world, you will always hear this phrase: competitive advantage. [You shouldn’t be surprised because we consider Diversity, Equity, Inclusion as a competitive advantage!] It deals with all of the attributes, factors, and resources that give a specific company the ability to learn more about their business; therefore, producing better quality and more affordable products and services than its competitors.
Competitive advantage helps a company to drive their goods and services’ superiority in the market. It aims to win the hearts of customers so that their brand will be the top choice among all of the brands that offer the same goods. Soft competitive advantages like diversity and Inclusion are one of the lesser obvious, but a very subtle and powerful competitive advantage.
And although the term competitive advantage is usually used in the business industry, this method is also used by other groups in the likes of organizations, countries, and even other individuals who participate in competitive sectors.
The main challenge that most companies face is how they can sustain their new-found competitive advantage. Therefore, the term Sustainable Competitive Advantage is more efficient in being the number one brand across the entire market. In our specialty, sustainable diversity is important because we rely on culture change to improve innovation, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce workplace conflicts.
It is significantly harder to maintain a Sustainable Competitive Advantage because customers often switch products relatively quickly. That’s one of the main reasons why companies sometimes come and go – they enjoy their competitive advantage, but they forget to sustain it.
Types and Attribute of Sustainable Competitive Advantage
There are a lot of different attributes that come along with Sustainable Competitive Advantage. Here are some of the most common types:
Customer Perfection: Most customers perceive several differences in one or more important buying factors
Your customers’ perfection about your brand and brands of other companies continually changes. The customers consider a lot of different factors before purchasing a product or service from a specific brand. For example, they think about the price, the reviews, and if the brand is reputable.
It would be best to keep in mind that your target market obviously acts and thinks differently from you. Even though you do your best to put yourself in your customers’ lens, the results that you will get won’t be as accurate as they could ever be.
Customers are known to view products and services in a different light – a light that you, as a brand, have to illuminate and create your marketing strategy over. So, it is essential to maintain a close relationship with your customers.
And not only products and services, but customers are also known to view a company and her brandings as a factor as well. If you are a diverse and inclusive employer, you definitely should enhance your branding with diversity.
Sustainable Competitive Advantage(SCA) linkage: Your customers’ perception is directly proportional to your SCA
Your customers are the heart and soul of your brand. Without them, your brand is meaningless; this knowledge gives you the essence that you need so that you can drive better as the leading brand.
But you also have to understand that not all customers think alike. Some customers prefer to value a particular factor over the other, while another customer prefers to prioritize a different element.
To put it simply, each customer has different sets of checklists when it comes to choosing the brand that they will buy from for a long time. Once you master the majority of your customers’ lists, you will have a Sustainable Competitive Advantage over your competitors.
Durability: The SCA and your customers’ perception will remain durable
Forming a great connection with the customers is always a brand’s top priority because people are known to support the brand that they feel happiest about. It is true that your customers’ perception of your brand or company as a whole will totally affect their purchasing will.
The relationship is what most companies groom and hone as time passes by because it is one of the most effective ways to have loyal customers – and this gives them a Sustainable Competitive Advantage. This customer-to-brand relationship is indeed extremely durable!
I think I don’t have to mention it, but I will. A strong customer perception is good for brand building!
Transparency: The steps of the SCA are difficult for your competitors to understand
Once you master the art of having a Sustainable Competitive Advantage, your competitors will find it hard to analyze and digest your strategic plan. This is all thanks to your company’s effort in terms of keeping everything transparent within the whole marketing team.
No matter how bad or good a data is, it is crucial to study them. These make your marketing strategy more effective in having a Sustainable Competitive Advantage. And unlike other business methods, one company’s SCA is not going to work for another company’s benefit.
Remember, Sustainable Competitive Advantage is not a one-size-fits-all strategic plan. It is tailored for a specific brand’s advantage over other brands in the market. An example of transparency is to let your customer and stakeholder know about your diversity and inclusion program, or your diversity supplier programs. Such transparency make your company transparent, honest, and trustworthy.
Accessibility: Your competitors will have less access to mimic your SCA’s resources
Sure enough, your competitors try to mimic your strategy for your Sustainable Competitive Advantage. But they will have a hard time replicating it 100% because they do not have all of the resources and data that you have gathered from your customers and brand performance.
They can try to imitate your plan, but it won’t work correctly because they can never have access to your resources. In the business world, you have to keep everything confidential. This will prevent giving your competitors a sudden advantage over your brand.
Replication: It will be hard for your competitors to replicate your SCA
To replicate another company’s Sustainable Competitive Advantage is difficult because there are many different steps in a method. And the specific steps have to be placed in the correct order for the other company to obtain a perfect replication of the original company’s SCA.
Coordination: Your SCA need multiple resources to take effect
Lastly, coordination within the whole company has to be in check. Your brand’s Sustainable Competitive Advantage requires deep and thorough research on the market. Therefore, you and your employees have to gather multiple types of data, the correct ones. Similar to Diversity, you will need resources from various types of diversity to coordinate for success.
By obtaining the proper resources that will be beneficial for the creation of your brand’s strategy to have a Sustainable Competitive Advantage, it will be easier to finalize the SCA. Your plan has to revolve around the data that you have. It will help you develop the most effective techniques to raise your SCA.
How to Create Sustainable Competitive Advantage?
Identify the benefits that your company offers
What are the benefits that your company offers to your customers? You have to give them something that they need – something that they can’t say no to. It has to be valuable, meaningful, and useful.
Set a clear definition of your target market
By knowing the specific set of customers that you have, you will have a better insight into what they need, like, and prefer. You will know them more personally. Try to determine the things that they have to have so that you can create a demand.
Get to know all of your competitors.
You need to know who your real competitors are. No, they are not just those who sell the same products and services you do; they also include all of the brands that might take away your customers’ interest in your brand.
For example, newspapers thought that their only competitors were other Newspapers. Little did they know that the internet will harvest almost all of their customers. Don’t ever get too confident about your company’s ability to sustain your competitive advantage because if you slack off for even just a bit, another company will get the top spot!
Building Sustainable and Diverse teams
You need the talent to create sustainable competitive advantages, first you need to hire a diverse team with diverse world views, then you need sustainability hiring to sustain your advantages. And don’t forget, break barriers!
What are different Types of Sustainable Competitive Advantages?
- Customer Perfection: Most customers perceive several differences in one or more important buying factors
- Sustainable Competitive Advantage(SCA) linkage: Your customers’ perception is directly proportional to your SCA
- Durability: The SCA and your customers’ perception will remain durable
- Transparency: The steps of the SCA are difficult for your competitors to understand
- Accessibility: Your competitors will have less access to mimic your SCA’s resources
- Replication: It will be hard for your competitors to replicate your SCA
- Coordination: Your SCA need multiple resources to take effect
How to create Sustainable Competitive Advantages?
- Identify the benefits that your company offers
- Set a clear definition of your target market
- Get to know all of your competitors.
- More at Diversity Social