A competitive advantage provides an edge over rivals and is key to out-performing your competitors. It provides the ability to generate greater value in sales, increase your community of followers, as well as your website traffic and customer loyalty.
Competitive Advantage – definition: ‘a condition or circumstance that puts a company in a favourable or superior business position’.
Here’s BEAM’s top 5 ways to get an advantage over your competitors:
#1. Knowledge is power, establish the playing field.
Regularly do a competitive market review to assess your competitor’s marketing efforts. Choose the top 5 or 10 players in your market place and assess their brands, their offers, their promotions, their consumer experience online or mystery shop in person. With these insights, you will be armoured with information to check or reassess how your brand’s and marketing efforts compare (eg. Website, social media, promotions).
#2. Differentiate or die, as they say. Help your customers choose your brand.
Ensure your brand has a clear differential advantage that your customers value and believe they cannot obtain elsewhere. Whether its product advantages, service initiatives, goodwill associations – make sure your customers understand what makes your brand or company different. Give them ‘the why’; a reason to choose your brand, pay a premium, purchase more or remain loyal. Once established, communicate and promote your difference & advantages from every vantage point – your website, your stationery, your signage, your promotions etc.
#3. Maintain the 4 Pillars of Branding. A good brand is;
- Recognisable – a strong and visible brand
- Consistent – Consistency breeds familiarity, confidence & trust
- Relatable – Humanise your brand, give it a personality that will attract your customer
- Authentic – Be true to your story or position – build trust and credibility
#4. Develop a Road Map to success. Plan ahead. Execute consistently.
Based on market learnings and establishing your brand’s differences – develop a Road Map of strategies and tactics - by quarter or by year - to market and promote your brands. Having a plan that is well thought out with clear actions, responsibilities assigned to your team, with deadlines and agreed budgets will ensure your marketing is executed, your brand is consistently applied and visible to your customers.
#5. Measure and Respond. Be Accountable and Agile.
Make your Marketing accountable whether it be measuring sales, awareness, or engagement. Measure activities for their effectiveness, set KPI’s ideally and respond flexibly as insights, campaign results or competitor’s activities unfold.
- Consumer feedback (online surveys with customers, stakeholders, prospects) to get feedback on new products and services, branding, campaigns – information gathered provides great marketing confidence before launches
- Website traffic and performance eg. total traffic, new visitors, bounce rates, user behaviour on your site, campaign conversions – there’s many great software tools to assist
- E-communications engagement – opens, click-throughs, opt-outs, requests, bookings. Make sure your communication software has reporting facilities and that you measure each mailing
- Pay per click campaigns - Adword performance metrics ie. driving traffic to your website, assess these daily, weekly, monthly – these campaigns need to be agile to work with consumer behaviours and competitor’s activities
- Social media – ensure your social is strategic and of value to your community - measure both reach & engagement, likes, shares and comments to ensure it’s working for your brand.
Interested in finding out more or getting a competitive advantage? Contact BEAM!
We have several packages including Competitive Advantage/Branding Spotlight/Get Social/Drive Traffic & Marketing Confidence.
BEAM is an integrated marketing team of experts in brand development, marketing strategies, design & digital executions. We’re dedicated to delivering unified, measured marketing with accountable brand performance.
Written by: Natalie Potter (brand strategist / director)