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Building a culture around your competitive advantage

To survive and excel, companies need to preserve the culture of agility and use that ability to constantly preserve their unique advantage

A tech company always hopes to be slightly ahead of a host of established and brand new companies that are pushing for the same market, same customers, and the same advantages. Unlike a decade ago, the average time it takes for a company to go from birth to compete with established players is now under 3 years.

To survive and excel, companies need to preserve the culture of agility and use that ability to constantly preserve their unique advantage.

“The average time it takes for a company to go from birth to compete with established players is under 3 years.”

What we then did, was, first of all, build a culture of awareness about how our market is evolving and how are rivals are adapting. This allowed us to understand the mistakes our rivals made (and not make them!), predict the market trends, and establish how our product could excel.

The first step was to understand the market as it is… What do my competitors have? In terms of features, size, offering, target markets, price points, positioning, reputation? (I will be writing an article to dive more into this). Once we understand them all of our competitors individually, we then have three more steps:

    • How can we bucket them in terms of their similarities?
    • What is the map of their similarities and differences?
    • Where are we unique, how can we protect it and grow it?

Building this knowledge takes time, and keeping it current meant that we used software that we called “Rival” to check for the changes that happen in our competitors. With all this information brought together, as well as a system to keep it up to date, we could now use our agility to continuously excel at what makes us unique while at the same time watching how other competitors would try to duplicate what makes us unique.

Only by knowing what is unique in your offering, can you protect it and grow it.​

At the executive level, we integrated market trends and competitor changes directly into our regular meetings. We could also see the direction the different companies were going and predict their movements; because we could also see changes month-over-month instead of as isolated events. This meant we could sell against our competitors more accurately, win more of those deals, and also plan our roadmap and growth in a way that gave us an advantage.

We could sell against our competitors more accurately, win more of those deals, and also plan our roadmap and growth in a way that gave us an advantage.​

If you are ready to apply some of these learnings in your organization, check out our template pack of analysis frameworks.

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