Business GrowthMarketing your business

You, Your Brand, and Your Service are Your Competitive Advantage By Marilyn Schwader

Once you know that you are the Star, your brand is your Story and your product or service is the Solution, these Six Key Techniques will bring your business to life successfully.


Look around you at any successful business. The common denominator is that they found a way to make a profit on a solution to someone’s problem or need. Quite simply, a successful information product is a result of a person confronting an obstacle, finding a way to overcome it, then showing others how they did it.


There are three essentials for a business which comprise the factors of creating and maintaining an Extreme Competitive Advantage: You, Your Brand, and How Your Product/Service is a Solution.


You are The Star. You bring to your business what you have created, accomplished, or overcome. You are the reason your business exists, whether you are selling a service, information, or a gadget. If you aren’t in the equation, your business won’t exist.


Your brand is Your Story. Years ago, just out of college in my first writing job, a colleague was lamenting that she would never be able to write a book because all of the good ideas had already been written about. While there is some truth to that, everybody’s story is different, and how you present it will be different, too. Your uniqueness makes your story and your brand unparalleled. So when you start thinking about your brand, look at your story. What makes it different? What makes you different? Bring that to your business and you will see your brand develop.


Your product or service is The Solution. When you weave the star and the story together, you create and maintain extreme competitive advantage as a support for your solution; You can develop an Extreme Competitive Advantage through assessing all the levels of your business – branding, marketing, product development and R&D, budget and streamlining your decision-making process. Here are six things to consider as you bring your Star, Story, and Solution to life:


  1. Have a profound reason for your business. The fact is, like a book theme, there aren’t a lot of segments in business that need more offerings. As a result, you will need to look for either a trend-related reason to be in business or for a service advantage that you can provide. What do you know that someone might need or desire that they can’t find anywhere else? What service do you provide that sets you apart from anything that is currently available? How can you position yourself to be distinct in your market?


  1. Create Strong Positioning. Stand out from your competitors. Be clear and dramatic, dynamic and different. What sets you apart? What do you offer that makes people take notice of you and your business? How do you present this to the world? Everything you do establishes your brand. Look at companies with a strong brand appeal. You notice them because they offer something different, or they say it in a way that the market notices.


  1. The Continuous Development of Unique Assets is Key. We’re all very familiar with the iPod. It’s revolutionized how we listen to music, added another tool to share information, and changed how people view Apple as an innovative technology company. For a short time, Apple relied heavily on this unique asset to give them a competitive advantage. However, within months, many mp3 players became available from other companies. So, they came out with other models to cover more of the market; they added new features; Their innovative products were continuously developed. Now they’ve developed the iPhone. What Apple knows is that although they have a unique asset, their competitive advantage will go away over time. They need to continually develop new ones to maintain their competitive advantage.


  1. Maintain an Economic Advantage. This is a key area that too many businesses lack. Wise use of budgetary funds will help you to maintain profitability over your competitors. Pricing is important, as is perceived value to the customer. The more unique your offering, whether it is service or a product, the more ability you’ll have to offer products for premium prices and bigger margins, ultimately attracting customers for whom price is not a factor.


  1. Build Complex Business Systems. Systems are very important for the flow of your business. Another way they are important is that the more complicated they are, the less likely it is that your competition will copy them, allowing you to maintain your competitive advantage.


  1. Use Speed and Agility. You must be mentally, physically, emotionally, and financially agile to maintain your competitive advantage. Staying a step ahead of your competition requires you to be at your best in all areas.


As you build your business, support The Star, StoryHealth Fitness Articles, and Solution with these six aspects of creating and maintaining a competitive advantage and you will move ever closer to the Success Phenomenon.


Copyright 2007 © Marilyn Schwader


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