Reaffirming the Firm’s Differentiation & Value Positioning

(ex: Four Seasons Hotels) 

We’ve addressed earlier the importance of having a unique, inimitable position. It bears repeating: To ensure a strong competitive advantage, your product/service needs to be unique, and impossible to imitate, replicate or substitute (or at least, very difficult or prohibitively costly to do so). The easier it is to do so, the greater your chance of losing market share due to your competitor(s).

How do you address this effectively? Focus on strengthening your market position in either cost leadership or differentiation and, along one of the following three value creating disciplines:

  • Product leadership (ex: Apple)
  • Operational excellence (ex: McDonalds Restaurants)
  • Customer intimacy (Four Seasons Hotels)

This portion of the strategic assessment portion provides an excellent opportunity for you to identify and discuss the vulnerabilities and strengths against your market positioning. Your findings can be added to your SWOT/SCOT Analysis framework. It may be helpful to consider these along with Mike Porter’s Five Forces Analysis, previously discussed.