The Significance of Leveraging Your Competitive Advantage
Success in the printing industry often depends on strategic positioning, innovation, and effective leadership. While having the latest technology is also a significant factor, without differentiation of some type, everyone starts looking the same to the customers. The leader in defining competitive strategy and differentiation is Michael Porter. Porter’s competitive strategy framework is rooted in the idea that companies can achieve a sustainable competitive advantage by adopting one of three generic strategies: cost leadership, differentiation, or focus.
But why is important to choose a particular path? When you look at your very best customers and the business relationship you have with them, it’s easy to articulate the strategic and significant impact that you have on their go to market strategy. When you examine the accounts on the bottom of page one, and the following pages, it becomes harder to truly spell out why you are the most capable supplier for that customer. Your top clients are there for a reason and the better you know why, the easier it will be to replicate it throughout your growth strategy.
Leaders also look at both the importance of a customer to their business, and how important their business is to that customer. Keeping those two scales in check is not a bad idea. And the more important you are to them, the lesser the threat of replacement you’ll face. Walking through this exercise throughout your account list is a great way to remain humble and continue to drive for account stickiness.
If you told your best customer that you were no longer going to work with them, how long would it take for them to replace you?
Leveraging your competitive advantage is a key element of any sustainable business. Whether you are the low-cost provider, or you’ve built the best mouse trap – they both can work if you target your audience appropriately. I encourage you to read Michael Porter’s work as it will help you to better define the path you’ve chosen and how to best take advantage of your efforts.
Just an idea, what do you think?
Mike Philie can help validate what’s working and what may need to change in your business. Changing the trajectory of a business is difficult to do while simultaneously operating the core competencies. Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the Graphic Communications Industry by providing direct and realistic advice, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach. Learn more at www.philiegroup.com, LinkedIn or email at email@example.com.
Mike Philie leverages his 28 years of direct industry experience in sales, sales management and executive leadership to share what’s working for companies today and how to safely transform your business. Since 2007, he has been providing consulting services to privately held printing and mailing companies across North America.
Mike provides strategy and insight to owners and CEOs in the graphic communications industry by providing direct and realistic assessments, not being afraid to voice the unpopular opinion, and helping leaders navigate change through a common sense and practical approach.