What makes a company competitive and what are the competitive elements that companies use for growth? In my view, companies compete at various levels and here are some of the competitive elements.
First, companies compete with their product or service offerings. They strive for quality, product performance, customer satisfaction and attempt to gain customer loyalty.
Second, companies compete in the financial domain. They want high returns on investments, low costs, access to cheap capital whenever necessary.
Third, companies compete in technology. They want to bring products to the market first, improve their processes and become more agile. They want to develop new products quicker than the competition.
Fourth, companies compete with their organizations and people. They want a corporate culture which breeds success, and a well trained work force. They build a visionary organization and ensure alignment between the various groups of the organization.
Fifth, companies compete with their business models. They build barriers to entry, unique differentiation and create a revenue and profit model which is difficult to replicate.
Sixth, companies compete with marketing and advertising. Building a unique brand, strong affiliation with their market segments and increased customer intimacy are somethings they build.
Seventh, companies compete by building strategic alliances. They leverage on alliances to build and strengthen their business eco- system to marginalize competition.
Eighth, companies compete with their reputation. They manage and improve their relationships with the media, customers, vendors, financial institutions and government agencies.