15 Apr 2014

First-to-market is not the last of it: How to find the right way to differentiate

Anything considered a competitive advantage doesn’t last forever. It might take your competitors a decade or it might take them a month to catch you, but they will catch you in the end. The only true competitive advantage is the quality of your people and that’s especially the case in a service business. But people move on, so every business needs a process that will allow them to maintain an edge in the market.

FINDING YOUR EDGE

Every business should have a unique selling proposition and at every point when you introduce a new product or service you should reiterate what that proposition is. For us at Brennan IT it’s that we give our clients business outcomes. We want our client to talk to us about the business outcomes they want and we’ll make sure they get it: the technical side is secondary to that. In some cases the technology doesn’t even exist yet, so we start with a conversation.

Each aspect of our business runs on a cycle of innovation that starts with ideas and closes with execution. Although we constantly look at the market and gather feedback, we batch it up until we have the resources and capability to execute, which means the cycles are about one or two years long.

At the beginning we host a roundtable with key clients and ask them what they would like to see in our products and services. This takes away the guesswork and separates what we think we know from reality. To be honest, clients rarely give us something we haven’t thought of, but they do indicate how compelling one idea is over another, which helps us prioritise.

Read more at http://www.brw.com.au

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