As a business you will always face competition. In the past, companies have shown various ways to increase their resistance to adversity. I certainly do not advocate longevity; in fact I think that if a company exists for more than 10 years, it is probably underperforming.
For the moment I will suggest 6 ways to improve a company’s resistance to competition;
- Be difficult to copy. This might sound rather obvious but it has certain facets that might not have been thought of.
– Intellectual Capital, (copyright, trademark, patent, systems, process, innovation etc etc,) is one of the most powerful.
– Exclusivity (hard to create,) ie government sponsored monopoly, distribution and licence agreements. On principal I disagree with some of these modes of business because it is anti-competitive.
– Large asset based production, where the barriers to entry are high.
- Promote the value of product not the price. Pricing is transient, value can be sustained. This also means not a monetary value, but a value in the mind of he customer. It could be “more functions than X brand, works better than Y brand, but uses more resources than Z brand.”
- Maintain a Brand. If you continually reinforce a space in your customers mind, it is difficult for you to be removed. A perfect example is Ansett in Australia or Jaguar in the UK. Ansett has not existed in Aus for sometime, but people still remember the company. Jaguar has not been a British company for longer, but it is still considered so.
- Allow for flexibility. Systems, processes, methods and even revenue streams need to be flexible to allow for adjustments in the market. It also stems from a business plans that are “sustainable”.
- Know how to change. It sounds funny, but it is something that is inherently lacking in some large corporations. Sometimes it stems from a CEO wanting to “see out” his tenure. At other times it just comes from engendered work practices that cause a “this is all we know,” mentality.
- Learn this, “Quality +Service + Great Relationships = Great business”. If a business has a PASSION for this it will be difficult for it to fail.
What does this mean for marketing? The market space you work in today will NOT be the same tomorrow. How is your Mandarin, Urdu? What is the average age of your sales team?