Identifying Competitive Advantages

An essential part of developing a branding strategy is to identify and select the right competitive advantages to obtain the desired market position. A competitive advantage is based on the perceived value being offered to the customer. Positioning begins through differentiating these values. A company can differentiate a market offer along the lines of Company, Product, Service, Personnel and Image within an existing category or in a new category that the company itself defines.

What position or positions to promote?
There is the concept that people identify with and remember when a company is “Number One” in a particular area. People identify the company’s services with attributes, e.g., “best quality,” “best service,” “lowest prices,” “best value,” — “most advanced technology.” With enough reinforcement, a company will become known for that attribute.

The initial task is to establish a claim to primary positioning attributes. Primary attributes differentiate a company or product while secondary attributes fill out or amplify a branding profile; however, they are also easily mimicked by competition.

The question is, what attributes best convey a true and supportable positioning platform for a brand?
The following is an initial listing of possible attributes for company, product or service branding, and considerations for the support areas of service, personnel and image.

Company or Product Attributes
Category:
Niche:
Accuracy:
Astuteness:
Attentiveness:
Capacity:
Consistency:
Contemporary:
Credibility:
Economy:
Ethicality:
Experience:
Expertise:
First to Market:
Innovation:
Leadership:
Quality:
Responsiveness:
Satisfaction:
Simplicity:
Stability
Territory:
Trendsetting:
Service Considerations
Scope:
Account Setup and Billing - Accounting:
Convenience:
Customer Relations Management Systems (CRM):
Customer Service:
Scheduling:
Shipping and Delivery:
Special Services:
Personnel — Attention to Customers
Consulting:
Customer Relations Management (CRM) — Policies, procedures, communications (printed, emailed, spoken) that reinforce your relationship with your customers:
Engineering:
Internal Sales:
Production/Manufacturing:
Sales Rep Organizations:
Service:
Sales Support:
Technical Support
Training:
Image Considerations
Logo/Wordmark Usage Standards:
Media - Advertising, Literature, Promotions, Exhibition, and Internet:
Quality Controls:
Unity and Coordination between Media:
Visual Branding Standards:
Visual Styling Definition: