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Competitive Advantage should be Understood Thoroughly

Market Research Services

Competitive advantage sounds like marketing jargon but it is one of the most important marketing and economic concepts.

Marketing is essentially behavioural economics because they both rely on the fundamental premise that self-interest is what drives decision making.


This premise also indicates that if you want to get someone to do something you’ve got to incentivise them with something aligned to their self-interest. It all sounds like very brutal capitalism but essentially that’s the world most of us live in.

If you are trying to compete for a target market's interest you will struggle if you are just one of many acceptable alternatives. You will find yourself constantly fighting with your competitors to attract and keep buyers. This creates an uncertain business environment and an unhealthy focus on short-term commercial goals.

It is more efficient and effective if you aim to be a leader in one of the important benefits your buyers seek.

The first step in this process is to be clear on which benefits are most important to your target market.


Typically, in any category there will be one fundamental benefit and then a hierarchy of associated benefits that you can list from most important to the least important.

Let’s use air travel as an example:

The fundamental benefit is transporting the passenger safely from origin to destination.

The associated benefits could be:

  • New, well designed planes

  • Personable service that makes you feel special

  • Comfort from increased seating space

  • Better on-board entertainment or food


We can see how the above list of benefits all highlight something important but none of this will matter if the fundamental benefit is not delivered.

However, there is no point trying to compete by claiming to be superior on the fundamental benefit, your compliance with it is assumed by the target market.

Ok, so now we have to choose one of the associated benefits, this is at the heart of competitive advantage – what should we choose that we can genuinely and credibly deliver for our target market and that we can defend as a position versus our competition?

That is competitive advantage and market research can figure it out. If you want to discuss further how you could improve your competitive advantage, please get in touch.

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