Corporate Identity and Corporate Communications
A competitive advantage is plainly a facet or capability of the organization that it occupies or extends to the customers. For an organizational facet to form a ‘competitive advantage’, it needs to be unequaled in the market and not acquired by any other existing or upcoming competition in the market. This notion can also be translated in the words of Barney (2002, p9) as, "a firm experiences competitive advantages when its actions in an industry or market create economic value and when few competing firms are engaging in similar actions".
Porter (1985, p3) explores the concept of competitive advantage as the capability of an organization to create value for its customers in a way that procures more value to the customers than the competitors, he says,
"Competitive advantage grows out of value a firm is able to create for its buyers that exceed the firm’s cost of creating it. Value is what buyers are willing to pay, and superior value stems from offering lower prices than competitors for equivalent benefits or providing unique benefits that more than offset a higher price. There are two basic types of competitive advantage: cost leadership and differentiation".
Hence, a firm’s competitive advantage has to be unique among all the other companies in the market. This implies that whatever company owns and provides to customers should have one or more differential aspect that can distinguish it from its competitors. Today, many organizations engage in providing almost the same kind of products to a specific range of products. Consequently, the customers need to choose between a lot of options with slight distinction to satisfy their needs and problems. For a firm to win more customers than its competitors and sustain them in the long run, it needs to offer its customers something that is not being currently offered in the market. For instance, a different product with enhanced value, a courteous and friendly workforce, a well-known company image, and a breakthrough in technology helpful in satisfying customers in a much better way than the competitors.
The customers would only be willing to buy the company’s product or even pay a higher price for it if there’s something in the product or service being by the company that the customers perceive to be valuable or different in satisfying their needs than other products in the market. The more the customers perceive the product to be valuable, the more the opportunity for the company to remain successful in the long run.
The upcoming section of the paper investigates into some of the aspects of a company’s marketing tactics and maneuvers that could be utilized towards the achievement of competitive advantage.
Winning Customer Satisfaction, Loyalty And Trust
Firms consistently endeavor to attain the mellowest possible levels of customer satisfaction and retention to survive in the modern competitive business arena. It is a factor that rightfully approximates a company’s emplacement in the competitive market. If the customers are satisfied, the company is likely to be successful. otherwise, it is doomed to be obscure in the future business domain. The enhancement of customer satisfaction consists in appraising customer wants, bringing forth incisively what they demand at the time they need it and making it beyond the customer anticipations.