Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Does your business stand out from the rest? Think of the Coca Cola Company for a moment; it is one of the most recognized brands worldwide, and was started in 1892. So, what do you think gives Coca Cola a competitive advantage over other drinks?
The fact is that Coca Cola has comprehensive distribution model - you can find Coke almost everywhere. It is not surprising to find a cold can or bottle of coke in a small community shop or tuck shop containers in rural areas. Coke is so entrenched in the minds of the people in these communities to a point that every fizzy drink is often referred to as “coke” even if it’s a different brand. How about the thirst you get after eating popcorn that it seems only Coke can quench because of the distinct taste it has?
Here is something you might not know. The Coca Cola Company 5by20 Programme draws local expertise and resources to help female entrepreneurs. To date this programme has enabled economic development of more than 550 000 women worldwide including 350 000 women in Africa.
So, what sets you apart from your competitors? And, that key thing should be difficult for competition to duplicate. What elements can be associated with your brand that customers are strongly attached to? If you design jewellery similar to your competitors, made from the same raw materials, at the same price, in a similar manner, then you have no advantage over them. But if you can manufacture at half the price because you have some special technology, or you incorporate exceptionally beautiful precious stones into your collections that no one else uses, then you may have a unique value.
Conduct a market research to determine how you differ from your competition in terms of price, service, experience, ambiance, distribution, technology, innovation, speedy delivery, highly trained employees, and so on. While low prices can be a competitive advantage, do not assume that customers will always make a purchase on the basis of lower price. Customers often pay significantly higher prices for excellent service, superior quality or brand. For example, I always choose a higher priced air ticket to fly directly to my destination rather than opt for a cheaper price and then stop over elsewhere. In this instance, convenience is more important to me than price.
So, it is important for you as an entrepreneur to determine what your customers view as value and provide exactly that.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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