50 Sustainable Competitive Advantages: Examples & Sources

The sources of sustainable competitive advantages can make any business tremendously successful. Nowadays you can outperform your competitors with a long list of competitive advantages strategies.

The famous companies with competitive advantage examples show that business success is not just about offering benefits to customers.

Your competitive edge should be hard to copy and you should stand out with it. You need a special angle – an irresistible value that proves your solution is the right one.

While the potential sources and real-world examples of competitive advantages in marketing and business are unlimited, it isn’t easy to create one of them, make it outstanding, and sustain it.

On this page:

  • What is a sustainable competitive advantage? Definition
  • A list of 50 sustainable competitive advantages (with real-world examples) to get you inspired.
  • Infographics in PDF

What is a sustainable competitive advantage?

Let’s define it:

Sustainable competitive advantage is a business asset or offering that provides a superior value to customers and a long term position over competitors.

From the definition, it is clear that achieving a sustainable competitive advantage is not an easy task. But it is quite possible and it is critical for your business growth in today’ extremely competitive business landscape.

A truly sustainable competitive advantage is difficult to duplicate or exceed by competitors and it lasts for many years.

The strong competitive advantage is a great force that ensures more sales, higher customer loyalty and greater staff retention than competitors.

Let’s see some powerful sources of sustainable competitive advantages relevant to our high tech and highly competitive business reality.

1. Break A Myth With Your Product Or Service

Making products or services that break a well-established myth can make your business or brand one of the most memorable ones.

People believe strongly in myths and stereotypes. If you can break a stigma or myth, you will break barriers in people’s mindset and inspire actions.

Try to create products that not only can break a myth but can extend your customer expectations and can bring them a tremendous and even unexpected value.

Example:

Elon Musk and Tesla Motors have broken the strong myth that electric vehicles need to be slow cars with unpleasant design.

Moreover, they have proved that electric cars can look absolutely gorgeous. And in the electric sports car market, they still don’t have any serious competition.

2. Provide A Legendary Customer Service

tips for outstanding customer service - infographic

Not just a good customer service but legendary! Outstanding customer care is one of the most powerful competitive advantage examples and brand positioning strategies.

Exceptional customer service shows you truly care about your customers’ satisfaction. Make your customer service memorable and the customers will want and need to repeat the experience.

Example:

Zappos is like a rock star in customer service. They respond to customer emails at an unbelievably fast speed.

They don’t argue about returns and even shop at other stores for customers when they want something particular that is not in Zappos stock.

3. Offer Simplicity

Today, less is more! We are super busy. Many people complain their life is too noisy and too dynamic. So, offer them simple products that save their time, efforts, and nerves.

Although making simple products is one of the most difficult business things, it is one of the most profitable sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

Examples:

Google’s search engine, Apple’s white earbuds, and WhatsApp messenger are just a few of the examples of world-famous simplicity.

4. Never Stop Innovating

Innovations make your business offerings fresh, relevant, attractive, famous, and desirable. Moreover, they make your business future-oriented.

Innovations improve people’s way of living and allow you to provide your customers with solutions that your competitors cannot offer.

Examples:

Among the best examples of companies that never stop innovating are: Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Samsung, Tesla, Nike, to name a few.

5. Stand Out With Craftsmanship

Ways To Boost Your Craftsmanship Strategy - an infographic

Craftsmanship still matters in our high tech world and has an enormous impact. Furthermore, craftsmanship is in demand more than ever.

Why?

Today, it looks like everything we buy is mass-produced. Thereby, people are hungry for the craft and for something truly unique. Faster isn’t always better.

In addition, today’s generation is starving for authentic  – be it searching for organic foods, handmade goods, or celebrating artistry.

The craftsmanship is a promise for quality, reliability, beauty or precision.

Example:

Harley-Davidson (motorcycles) is one of the most popular examples of sustainable competitive advantage achieved through a great craftsmanship strategy.

6. Focus On Human-To-Human Interaction

Nowadays, people are more connected to technology than ever before. Companies aim to connect with consumers on each possible device and each social media platform.

However, what is important here is to make those consumers actually feel connected to your business in the human matter.

In other words, you need to offer personal experience and to place people in the center of your business.

Example:

Drift (a conversational marketing platform) puts human interactions at the heart of their business. As opposed to other comparable software tools that are concentrated on automation, Drift focuses on the human-to-human interactions of sales.

7. Bet On Creativity

Customers are always searching for improved or new advanced products. And providing these products requires creativity.

Having a creativity-oriented company culture that helps your employee enlarge mental horizons can be one of the best sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

Example:

Apple is like a synonym of creativity. It’s a brand that motivates others to “Think Different” and its results are spectacular.

8. Be Honest

It is quite unusual to look at honesty as a source of competitive edge. But it works and it works great today.

The most important thing that consumers want from businesses is honesty! Honesty creates trust and shows you truly care about your customers. Click To Tweet

Being honest means being open about your strengths as wells as your weaknesses.

Example:

NPR (an independent, nonprofit media organization) shows how an honest company can create trust.

At the end of most programs, NPR shares listener feedback on past shows. Along with the glowing reviews, NPR also shares customer outrage and disappointment.

Moreover, NPR does not shift the focus when it makes headlines for less than desirable reasons. Instead, the station reports its own bad news without being afraid of admitting its mistakes or weaknesses.

9. Connect With Customers Through Hobbies, Sports, And Music

If you want to win your customers’ heart, connect with them through what they love to do – be it sport, gaming, music or other types of initiatives.

Find a way to communicate and engage with people by the things they are most passionate about and they will love your brand.

Example:

Taco Bell (a nation’s leading Mexican-inspired quick service restaurant) is one of the spectacular examples here.

The brand helps and encourages its customers to “Live Mas” and connects with them through sports and new music via its “Feed The Beat” music program.

Taco Bell also provides opportunities for those who value education and connects fans with their passions through programs such as the Live Mas Scholarship program.

10. Attract And Retain Talents

Tips For SUCCESSFUL Talent Management - infographic

There’s one thing that all the top companies in every industry have: talent.

The best companies have the best employees. Thereby, those companies can deliver the best products and services.

Example:

SAS talent management strategy is breathtaking with outstanding results. They have been on 60 Minutes for excellent employee practices more times than any other company.

They are famous with a great range and variety of benefits that bring in an industry-leading turnover rate.

11. Be Unique

The trick of the business success is not being first — it’s being unique.

If you can’t be unique, there’s no reason for customers to buy from you instead of your competitors.

To be unique you should find a way to be different and even much better than everyone else. Don’t make your business a cliche.

Example:

Tesla Motors creates and dominates the market for luxury, long-range electric automobiles.

However, this market is different from the market for less expensive electric vehicles as well as from the market for luxury gas-powered vehicles. It is a unique proposal.

12. Help People See Their Self-worth

Don’t just sell your products. Don’t only show your advantages, but help customers see their self-worth.

We, all humans often experience a sense of self-criticism, unconfidencе, shyness, or modesty.

Offer products or services that empower people to feel confident in themselves. Then you can create one of the most sustainable competitive advantages.

Example:

Dove has done a notable job with branding themselves as focused on helping women see their self-worth instead of just selling soap.

Dove encourages woman to embrace their looks instead of criticizing themselves. And this strategy works.

13. Provide Remarkable Speed

Technology speeds almost everything in our lives. We are like addicted to instant gratification.

The instant-gratification culture is here and it rises fastly. So, you can use it as a source of your strong competitive edge.

You can provide different types of speed such as speedy delivery of products or speedy customer service by phone. You just need to do something faster than the competition.

Example:

Amazon Prime, UberEATS, and Jimmy John’s are just a few examples of businesses that offer remarkable speed.

14. Go Green

Tips To Make Your Business Green - an infographic

Consumers all over the world are becoming more and more passionate about protecting the planet.

They are ready to pay more for products and services that support the green cause.

Going green shows your customers you don’t put profits ahead of the environment.

Example:

On its website, The Body Shop clearly identifies its values. They are against animal testing; defend human rights; protect the planet, and The Body Shop lives up to these values.

15. Offer Unmatchable Guarantee

Offering unique and memorable guarantees is one of the strongest sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

The guarantee means purchasing your product doesn’t create risks to your customers. Avoiding regrets is all we people need.

Also, a guarantee shows you are confident enough in your product.

Example:

Cutco (cutlery & kitchen knives) sells high-priced cutlery with a really impressive guarantee – “Forever Guarantee”.

It means by buying a set of knives today, customers can save a great amount of money by never needing to buy another.

16. Offer Irresistible Promotions

Who doesn’t love a great deal?

Running attractive promotions and marketing campaigns increase the chances of choosing your brand over your competitors.

Moreover, they can guarantee customer loyalty and provide the customers with a genuine reason to keep doing business with you.

Example:

Ript Apparel has a Daily Deals section on their website placed on a very obvious position. Each day, they show three new products at a reduced price.

They provide a sale each day. This motivates customers to keep coming back to the site to pick up their great deal.

17. Create Valuable Blog That Empowers Your Audience

When it comes to creating a trust for your brand, blogging has a top place here.

People trust blogs. Think about your blog as a human angle of your business. Your blog should be a place where your audience finds ways of resolving their most painful problems and concerns.

If you are consistently creating valuable blog posts, it’ll help establish you as an expert in the industry.

Example:

Zing by Quicken Loans is a suburb blog that provides in-depth articles on different financial topics. It is not just aggregation of information you see elsewhere.

Zing shows that they are experts in the industry and create a trust for their brand among current and potential readers.

18. Offer Reliability

People always need and seek for reliability. The things we like most are the reliable ones.

Every day we demand reliable cars, reliable cell phone, reliable restaurants, and etc.

Example:

Toyota and Lexus are so popular for their reliability that they go on a kind of another realm compared to the competition.

19. Make Your Employees Happy With Flexible Work Schedule

From increased productivity to a more loyal workforce and less stressed employees, flexible schedules can be one of the most powerful sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

Flexible scheduling that increases work-life balance has become part of what many employees are looking for.

Flexible working hours encourage staff to concentrate on getting their work done—not the hours they spend in your office.

Example:

Black Mountain (information technology company) gives their employees the ability to create their own schedules. It is not a problem for an employee to leave earlier for family activities, for attending a doctor’s appointment or just for working remotely.

20. Use Competitive Market Research And Competitive Intelligence

Tips For Successful Marketing Research - infographic

Competitor marketing research is the process of collecting and analyzing information about your current and potential competitors and market trends.

Now it’s easy to do! Even with the help of some free online competitor analysis tools and free ways to collect data, you can track everything your competitors do – from product to people to promotions.

Today’s powerful web competitive intelligence tools combined with marketing intelligence techniques can provide you with info about the industry you’re in — its highlights, new players, old established companies, innovations and disasters.

Thus, you can gain ideas and spot opportunities for improving multiple aspects of your business.

Example:

The leading companies cleverly harvest the benefits of someone else’s successes or failures. For example, Google carefully pays attention to the mistakes in Yahoo’s UI.

21. Redefine Your Customer Service With A Chatbot

Today, people want fast, easy, and personalized customer service anytime and anywhere. Chatbots can provide it.

A chatbot is a software program which imitates human conversation (or a chat) with users over websites, mobile apps, phones, etc. It is a digital assistant that communicates with people.

It is a new marketing channel that offers a genuine personal experience between brands and users.

Chatbots are changing the business and marketing world. They are one of the most promising trends in user interface and customer experience fields.

A chatbot is available anytime for customers and allows you to get closer to them. It showcases your new products and services, improves customer service, boosts engagement, brings new leads and increases sales.

According to a report by eMarketer, 87% of B2C marketers in the US believe that chatbots and digital assistants will play a significant role in marketing before 2021.

Surveys show that “The top benefits of chatbots are 24-hour service (64 percent), instant responses to inquiries (55 percent) and answers to simple questions (55 percent).”

Example:

Among the most famous chatbots are Pop Geo – National Geographic Chatbot, SnapTravel, Wall Street Journal Chatbot, Whole Foods’ Facebook Messenger Bot, BabyCentre UK Bot, Hottel Marriot’s ChatBotler, Cheapflights Chat, and many others.

22. Use The Force Of Artificial Intelligence (AI) 

AI is irrevocably changing our daily lives and tasks. It’s not only on your kitchen, smartphone, and cars, it’s everywhere. And we’re only at the beginning.

In the next few years, marketing is going to make a huge shift from its current form. And mostly thanks to AI. Traces of this future change are already here.

Artificial Intelligence is the ability of computers to perform tasks that usually people perform. For example, the ability to make decisions, the ability to communicate with users, and etc.

As per Techgrabyte, “Artificial intelligence is the biggest commercial opportunity for companies, industries, and nations over the next few decades” and “The use of AI will increase global GDP by up to 14% between now and 2030, the equivalent of an additional $15.7 trillion contribution to the world’s economy.”

AI has many applications in business. It powers customer service, ensures cybersecurity defense, perform data analysis, helps in health care, reduces energy use and costs, predicts sales, helps businesses to be more customer-centric, and etc.

Example:

Let’s take, Amazon. It uses AI across every step of its e-commerce operations. For example, it uses AI for e-commerce forecasting, and for StyleSnap, an AI-powered feature that lets you take a picture clothing piece and find similar items for sale.

23. Use Augmented Reality (AR) To Reshape Competition

AR creates a whole new world of untapped and unique sources of sustainable competitive advantages. AR is one of the biggest next-gen digital technology revolutions, and it’s only going to get bigger.

AR is a set of technologies that superimpose virtual objects to reality. It creates the illusion that computer-generated images and real-world images are in the same space by overlapping them.

In other words, it allows you to put virtual objects in your real environment and situation.

Imagine you want to add a sky with the sun to the ceiling in your room. AR can do it. And of course, businesses can benefit immensely from AR.

For instance, the AR gives the customers who shop online the chance to view the product, in the same way, they would if they were in a physical store. This allows customers to see how the product fits into their lives before the purchasing decision.

According to Gartner ” by 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies (such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and mixed reality) for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed to production.”

Example:

For example, IKEA provides customers with a catalog of products in AR-format with an app. With the help of this app, you can see how the furniture will look in the interior of your home. It lets you fill an entire room with virtual furniture.

24. Use Data Mining To Steer A Massive Company Growth

Businesses today are sitting on a gold mine – their data. In our data-driven world, it has never been more important to use it as sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

Data mining is the process of analyzing a vast amount of raw unstructured data with the help of data analysis methods and algorithms. The goal is to determine relationships between data, make conclusions and predict results.

Data mining applications are numerous. Among many benefits, using data can help companies save thousands of manufacturing costs, improve their procurement efficiency, support business growth, develop successful marketing strategies, enhance pricing strategy, forecast sales, predict financial results, and much much more.

Example:

Spotify uses big data analytics to deliver better playlists recommendations to its users. Spotify has a vast amount of information collected from their user base which consists of millions of people listening to music every day.

With the help of data analytics algorithms, they gain deep insights into user preferences. Thus, Spotify is able to offer every user a personalized playlist with music recommendations based on the analysis of their listening history.

25. Capture Customer Hearts With Nostalgia Branding And Passion For Retro

While creating innovations and future orientation is key to business success, many brands offer a look backwards…and with success.

Passion for the past and retro revolution are here to immerse people in the comfort of “the good old’ days” when things were simpler, and you didn’t need to worry about creating a perfect Facebook profile.

Now, companies recognize the value of nostalgia in marketing, as a way of creating one of the most sustainable competitive advantages.

The Millennials are longing for the familiar. So, you can offer products that remind them of growing up and that provoke feelings of safety and happiness.

Examples:

Coca-Cola, Campbell’s brand, Lego, Old Navy, Herbal Essences are just some of the brands that maximize the benefits of nostalgia marketing as tapping customers of the beautiful memories from previous decades.

26. Build A Brand Community

Building a community around your brand is one of the best things you can do for your business to grow nowadays.

A brand community is a group of people ( your current and potential customers) who use your brand as a platform to exchange ideas and share thoughts.

An online community around your brand not only provides a great value to your customers but also keeps them engaged in a long-term aspect.

Example:

Starbucks is a great example of creating a successful brand community. Starbucks has a platform where users can share their own ideas with the company and other people.

27. Change the Game! Be The First

Being the first to market means offering products or services that people have never heard before.

In other words, you have to provide new valuable solutions that improve people’s lives in a way never seen before.

Typically, the first movers have established significant market share with a solid customer base.

Example:

Uber is a great example here. The rideshare app category didn’t exist until Uber created it.

28. Offer Products That Help People Do Their Best

This competitive advantage strategy focuses on performance and the way you can empower customers to do their best.

Many want to improve their performance in different areas – such as career, style, parenting, business, cooking, sport, etc.

Help them do it. Show your target audience you can provide products or services that expand human potential.

Example:

Nike has a proven focus on performance and innovation. They invented the waffle shoe and create branding that targets serious athletes.

29. Create Compelling Brand Storytelling

We all love listening to stories as they are based on our emotions.

So, a brand story has the ability to connect you with customers on an emotional level.

Nowadays, you can tell your story via a wide range of marketing channels – social media, case studies, blog, etc.

To be successful, your brand story must be authentic, not a sales pitch.

Example:

The world-famous Johnnie Walker’s tagline “Keep walking” is based on a story that dates back to 1819 when John was a young boy working at a farm.

30. Build A Content Marketing Strategy

Tips For Successful Content Marketing - infographic

This is one of the most exciting, powerful, and sustainable competitive advantages and strategies you can create today.

An unimaginable number of consumers are looking online for products and services every second. And you need to position your business in front of them.

How to od this? With a strong content marketing strategy!

Content marketing allows you to attract, engage, and delight customers by delivering valuable content.

It has many types and forms such as blog, social media posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, whitepapers, case studies, eBooks, how-to-guides, webinars, email marketing, and etc.

So many businesses take their marketing campaigns to the next level by providing quality blog posts, vigorous social media messages, engaging videos, exciting webinars, etc.

31. Use Interactive Content To Stand Out

“You can sell to someone, or you can help someone and create a customer for life.”

– Jay Baer

91% of buyers are looking for more visual and interactive content. Interactive content is one of the most attractive sources of competitive advantages as it adds more value for the customers by providing a two-way dialogue – ensuring a personalized, customer-focused experience.

The digital space is oversaturated with traditional types of content. So you can stand out with an interactive one.

Interactive content is a type of content that makes your customer participate and engage with the text, not just simply read.

Some popular forms of interactive content are quizzes, 360-degree video, surveys and polls, assessment tools, shoppable posts, augmented reality overlays, interactive calculators, interactive galleries, interactive landing pages, and etc.

Example:

Warby Parker’s frame-finding quiz has seven simple questions. They provide the company with information which products best suit their customers. Then the customer receives pairs to try based on their answers.

32. Use Influencer Marketing To Engage

Influencer marketing is a strategy that uses product recommendations from influencers (individuals who are viewed as experts within a niche) to drive brand engagement and sales.

The influencers can be popular bloggers, vloggers, social media sensations, TV stars, journalists, thought leaders, celebrities, etc.

Today, influencer marketing just explodes. It is because millions of people trust in online and social media advice on purchasing decisions.

According to the Digital Marketing Institute, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations. So, influencers are a powerful way for brands to connect with their audiences.

Examples:

The biggest names in almost any industry use influencer marketing on a daily basis. Gucci, Amazon, Sprint, Hallmark, Fiji Water, H&M, Samsung, are just a few of the companies.

33. Use Your Audience’ Emotions As A Basis For Your Competitive Advantage

Humans make decisions driven by their emotions. And today, emotions are stronger than ever.

The companies that understand the power of emotions and manage to connect with customers’ feelings receive a huge payoff.

Creating emotional branding shows you truly understand how your customers feel.

Moreover, it can help you create deep relationships with your audience. And this is something your competitor can hardly beat.

Example:

A great example of a sustainable competitive advantage based on humans’ emotions is Coca-Cola branding. Coca-Cola is successfully positioning its products as happy, meaning that they bring joy, harmony, etc.

34. Target A Specific Niche

When you try to serve everyone, you serve no one. So, pick a niche. Define whom you serve.

A niche is a small part of a larger market. This part consists of customers with specific needs, which are somehow different from the larger market.

For example, the “makeup” market is very broad, but within it, there’s also makeup for dry skin, makeup for professional artists and etc.

Many businesses adopt a niche marketing strategy to reap the rewards of brand loyalty and compete against fewer brands.

35. Location, location, location…

The location has a long-term impact on businesses, especially on retailers.

A location that is easy to access and convenient for customers can be one of the best sources of sustainable competitive advantages.

Moreover, a successful location strategy impacts a company’s cost of labor, transportation costs, taxes, the ability to attract and retain talents, and the delivery time to customers.

Example:

Starbucks has a remarkable location strategy. It opens stores in highly visible locations, downtown office buildings or in highly populated neighborhoods, near supermarkets.

36. Leadership As A Strong Competitive Advantage

Tips To Choose The Right Leaders For Your Business - infographic

Leadership is not about just leading peoples. It is about leading yourself and motivating employees to add value to the customers from a lifestyle standpoint.

Leaders are those who inspire, influence, and guide the people in an organization. Leaders encourage employees to be proactive, creative, and solution-oriented.

Examples:

Leadership can be a key source of competitive advantage. It is proven by companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google, Starbucks, and Ford.

37. Embrace Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

People want to feel like they’re helping society, even when they’re simply buying a product. By having a CSR culture, your customers can feel as if they are contributing to charitable efforts.

If done properly, a CSR competitive advantage strategy can bring a great value for both your business and society.

CSR programs can help your business stay in customers’ minds, can increase customer loyalty and trust, promote customer engagement, and ensure brand awareness.

Example:

Microsoft has superb CSR programs that not only help society but also populate the company in the news.

38. Focus On Multicultural Marketing

Multicultural marketing focuses on connecting with diverse audiences, more specifically people whose culture falls outside the macro culture.

A consumer’s culture, language, and traditions influence purchasing decisions. The purpose of multicultural marketing is to understand those influences and uses them to reach the target audience.

With increased awareness and value placed on diversity and humanity, utilizing multicultural marketing can be a powerful way for business success and growth.

39. Host Free Webinars

Now, a free webinar or online seminar is one of the most modern and cost-effective marketing tools. It can be a great source of sustainable competitive advantages if done in the right way.

In fact, free webinars can bring a plethora of benefits to your business.

Why? They showcase what your business has to offer, help you prove expertise and competence, bring you leads that result in higher conversions, and grow your online presence.

Example:

The most successful SEO consultants (like Brian Dean) often host webinars. They provide countless hours of valuable information to customers weekly.

40. Emphasis On Education

Do you know that by encouraging your staff to learn and develop their skills, they can serve your customers much better?

Never stop challenging your employees to grow, explore, and to show their very best.

They say you’re never done learning. So, allows people to become lifelong learners by attending trainings, classes, industry conferences, etc.

Example:

Philips Lighting focuses on helping employees to grow as professionals. They provide a range of opportunities for improving expertise such as attending technical workshops on lighting design, pursuing an MBA, and many others.

41. Partner With Your Top Competitors

It is clear that you’re competing for the same customers. But if you are too focused on beating competitors, you can miss great opportunities of a strategic partnership with them.

Put aside the emotion and try to see the hidden value of a collaborative relationship with rivals.

There is a range of ways that both sides can win: through sharing common technology to minimize cost, expanding the market for both, up-selling related products, etc.

Collaboration with competitors is a fashion today.

Example:

General Motors and Toyota assemble automobiles together and Siemens and Philips develop semiconductors together.

42. Stand Out With Fun And Humor

When people experience something fun, they remember your brand!

The concepts of “customer experience” and “fun” can go together brilliantly. Fun and humor reduce stress, release the pressure of shopping, and help your customers feel more relaxed.

Fun is infectious and arouses enthusiasm in others. We all love to be around people with fun style. Customers will love to be around your company and will spread the word about you if you offer fun.

So, why not introduce a little fun in customer service?

Example:

Southwest Airline’s has maintained a strong and sustainable competitive advantage using humor in their customer service. Their jokes are found all over the Internet. They have a unique approach to entertaining passengers. Also, having a sense of humor is part of the Southwest Airlines company culture.

43. Core Competency To Make Your Business Shine

When it comes to sustainable competitive advantages that make your business shine and differ from others, core competence has a top place on the list.

Core competence means you have developed to perfection in a particular skill, activity, or technology. It takes years and a lot of energy to achieve perfection in a business area but the results are tremendous.

The main power of core competency is that it is too difficult to replicate by competitors.

Example:

The core competency of Google is the efficient Internet search algorithms that are still unbeatable. Algorithms are the heart of the corporation.

44. Surprise and Delight Marketing

Who doesn’t like to be pleasantly surprised? The surprise is addictive and can change people’s moods and behavior.

People want to feel special and a pleasant surprise means ‘I care’.

“Surprise and delight” is a marketing strategy that attracts and nurtures consumers by providing unexpected rewards such a free coupon for a significant amount or a product upgrade.

It can build a strong emotional connection between your brand and customers.

Example:

Let’s take, for example, the facial tissue brand Kleenex’s campaign “Feel Good”. Kleenex went through Facebook to search for people who posted a status that they were feeling ill.

Kleenex, then contacted their family to organize a surprise and the ill consumer received a Kleenex Kit filled with get-well items.

45. The Power Of Business Intelligence (BI) 

Tips For Successful Business Intelligence - an infographic

This is one of the most powerful sustainable business growth strategies nowadays.

BI is a process based on technology that allows you to analyze data and turn it into actionable information you can use for successful data-driven decision-making.

Today, BI is critical for business success as it allows you to understand customer behavior, to spot buying patterns and sales trends, and optimize all type of business processes.

Example:

Chipotle Mexican Grill (the famous American restaurant chain with more than 2400 locations globally) switched to a BI software that allows them to gain a centralized view of all restaurant operations.

Before that, their disparate data sources didn’t allow teams to see a unified view of restaurants. With the new BI solution, they are able to track operational effectiveness on a national scale.

46. Create Strategic Partnerships

Do you know why small as well as large businesses create long-lasting strategic partnerships with other companies? It is not only because “two heads are better than one”.

There are many other reasons. For example, strategic partnerships can give you access to additional resources such as software and a large social media following.

The alliance also grows your customer base and help you reach new markets.

Example:

The partnership between Google and Luxottica is a spectacular example of this.

Tech giant Google and luxury eyewear business Luxottica partnered to build Google Glasses – a great new solution. Their alliance has allowed Google to reach the fashion market, and Luxottica the tech market.

47. The Power Of Reputation Management

A reputation can break or make a business. People depend on the opinions of others. Companies with a good reputation are trusted the most.

A positive reputation has enormous power. It allows a company to keep its best people, attract and retain customers, win higher trust, minimize the risk, and enter new markets easily.

Example:

Sony, the Japanese conglomerate manages its reputation greatly with strengths such as top-notch customer service; generous charitable activities that focus on the arts, culture, technology and the environment; and a trailblazing product range.

48. Offer A Free Gift With Every Purchased Product

It is not about offering a free gift just once or occasionally. It is about offering a free gift with every purchased product from you.

You may think it is a sure way to bankruptcy, but it’s a great way of expanding a business that works successfully for many companies. You just need to do this smartly.

People love free gifts and will always love them. The freebies can give a business returns far beyond the cost of the gift. Greater customer retention, a memorable customer experience, brand awareness, and customer satisfaction are just a few of the hidden benefits.

Example:

Diamond Candles offers a ring in every candle. They promote it on their website, and it’s implemented in their name, too. For the company, it is a highly profitable campaign to sell more products.

49. Use Extraordinary Names For Your Products

Extraordinary names for your products can strongly differentiate you from the competition. They can make your business more memorable and unique.

Unusual product names make the consumers not only more curious and intrigued but entertained as well.

Example:

Lush (makeup brand) have product names such as “Buffy the Backside Slayer” and “Demon in the Dark.”

50. Focus on Certifications And Awards

Certifications and awards validate your business. They are a form of insurance of who you are and what you are doing.

Subsequently winning awards makes your company shine and provide benefits such as boosting your reputation, attracting new customers and new employees, and increasing customer loyalty.

You can win awards in categories like service, ethics, growth, employment excellence, community service, leadership, products, etc.

Example:

A great source of the sustainable competitive advantages of IBM is winning a long list of awards and recognitions.

Being one of the most awarded companies worldwide, IBM manages the brand to be highly esteemed and valued by clients, employees, and the general public worldwide.

Download the following infographic in PDF

list of sustainable competitive advantages - infographic

Conclusion

Today, more brands than ever are searching for sources of sustainable competitive advantages to stand out in an increasingly crowded landscape.

With the bar set so high for modern businesses, creating an outstanding competitive edge that delights your customers and ensures brand loyalty isn’t easy.

However, it is quite possible and it is a sure way for business triumph.

Hope, the competitive advantage examples in this post can give you ideas on how to create your own strategy to stay ahead of the competition!

What do you think? What are the most sustainable competitive advantages today? Share your thoughts with us.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.