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Edge Out Your Competition: 12 Ways to Build Barriers

There are many strategies that you can use to find sales and profit growth for your company — and most of these strategies revolve around the idea of innovation. Or so says The Harvard Business Review’s David Aaker. Aaker makes it clear that production of an innovative product is just one way to take claim …

There are many strategies that you can use to find sales and profit growth for your company — and most of these strategies revolve around the idea of innovation. Or so says The Harvard Business Review’s David Aaker. Aaker makes it clear that production of an innovative product is just one way to take claim of the marketplace. He lists 11 other ways (and examples of companies who implement these strategies) with which you can set yourself apart from the competition and make it difficult for them to close the gap.

  1. Proprietary technology — unique technology that is difficult to replicate
  2. Ongoing innovation — look to future products to stay ahead of the game and the competition
  3. Scale — be a first-mover (or aspire to be) and scale your economy larger (think Starbucks, iPod, IKEA)
  4. Investment — “a high investment protected brands like CNN” for years
  5. Execution — whatever your company’s purpose is, make sure it does it well (Zappos is known for its amazing customer service)
  6. Brand networks — connect with other companies in your field and mutually support/cross-sell
  7. Customer involvement — make your brand’s customers into a community
  8. Self-expressive benefits — allow your product or service to something with which your customers express themselves (i.e. Prius = hybrid)
  9. Brand equity — create an authentic and visible brand
  10. Brand loyalty — happy customer bases keep coming back and refer you to others
  11. Branded differentiators — create a part of your product or service that is unique to you (ie. Amazon OneClick)
  12. Exemplar status — try to have your product epitomize the market that you are in, become a symbol (Whole Foods, Geek Squad)

Read: Twelve Ways to Create Barriers to Competition

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