The Route to Competitive Advantage

August 18, 2016 |

compadv The Route to Competitive Advantage

With the recent below par customer experiences that I have been notified of during last week, I think it apt to highlight the simple steps businesses in general need to take towards a Competitive Advantage:

Bring the power of the customer to the centre of your business i.e. getting every employee to be customer centric, as without customers you don’t have a business. You are either gaining customers (growing) or you are losing customers (dying).

Understand your customer’s perception of value i.e. Customer Value Model (CVM) for example what is referred to as the BEDU Principle:

Basic: These are the fundamental things you need to do just to be in business for example: Having clean, properly furnished and fixtured premises

Expected:  These are things your customers consider to be “normal” for you and your competitors for example: Being open during appropriate hours of business

Desired: These are value added features that customers know about and would like to have, but don’t necessarily expect because of the current level of performance from the players in your industry for example: Longer than normal trading hours or consistently friendly and helpful staff

Unanticipated: These are value-added features that go well beyond the experiences that customers have had of doing business with companies in your industry for example: Employees with unique expertise, vehicle collection for a service or having same day deliveries

Develop the infrastructure for managing your customer’s total experience with you i.e. Customer Value Proposition (CVP) for example environmental; sensory; interpersonal; procedural; deliverable; informational or financial aspects which I will not get into at this stage.

Measure and focus on the right things as if you can’t measure something you can’t manage it. It is a known fact that customer expectations are continually on the rise and therefore businesses require a superior operating model, producing unmatched and ever-improving value. Build an operating model which will enable you to deliver your CVP better than any of your competitors.

Research has found three categories of value:

  1.     Best product – product leadership
  2.     Best total solution – customer intimacy
  3.     Best total cost – operational excellence

In summary even if you have the best plan in the world, it is only as good as the paper it is written on. If you want to have a great business, you not only need a sound and dedicated operating model, you also need to know how to execute extremely well.

For assistance in helping you either devise or implement an operating model unequalled by your competitors, please don’t hesitate to contact me for further information at

Category: Blog

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