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In the last two weeks we have covered the importance of knowing your market and focusing your marketing the benefits your product/service will deliver to the customer.  Today, we will discuss the third reason marketing plans fail:  not knowing your point of difference. 

In today’s globally competitive environment it’s tough for businesses to stand out from the crowd – i.e., to differentiate themselves from their competitors.  We’ve often stated in this blog how important we feel it is for any business to identify their sustainable competitive advantage (SCA) – also referred to as the unique selling proposition.  Your SCA is that “point of difference” that distinguishes you from all of your competitors.

A competitive advantage arises from activities that provide high value to the customer.  Examples of SCA’s include factors such as quickest turnaround time, high product quality, low cost production techniques, patents and copyrights, long-term contracts, and a good reputation.  To be really effective the advantage must be:

  • Sustainable
  • Hard to copy
  • Unique
  • Superior to the competition
  • Applicable in most situations

Determining the SCA for your business requires an understanding of customer needs and preferences.  Once you have identified your SCA, it becomes the filter for your marketing strategy.  It is used to allocate time and money to the issues that will allow the organization to win in the market place. 

The bottom line is that your SCA is your driver for marketing strategy – giving you a recognizable “point of difference” in your target market.

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