Today I answered your question:
“What are the most dominant competitive advantages of any business generally speaking?”
From a contemporary technology and innovation perspective, there are several areas within any business that can be used as dominant dynamic competitive advantages. However, firstly, the business needs to develop the capability of adapting to change and managing uncertainty effectively. A business that learns from customers and the business environment it functions in, then adapts quickly, is a necessity today for creating a competitive advantage. A business that effectively manages uncertainty can adapt quickly.
Here are 4 key areas of a business that can be adapted once the above capabilities have been developed:
Continuous learning about changes often provide insights into changes to be made and new opportunities. For example, changes in new technologies, legislation, economic conditions, customer changing habits provide early insights to changes that need to be made. A current example is the need for masks and sanitisers because of COVID 19.
Identify which aspects of your business model can be adapted or innovated to provide a significant competitive advantage is contemporary. Consider Uber versus traditional taxi services as an example.
New technologies open doors to creating new products, delivering services in different ways, streamlining or changing processes to create more value for clients than your competitors, that is, a competitive advantage. For example, e-commerce convenience with speedy delivery and no-fuss returns, or free knowledge for learning available online from universities and only pay when you need an official certificate.
Very popular today, backed up by scientific evidence, is using a clearly communicated titillating culture ‘statement’ for customers and quality staff with the same mindset to ‘buy into’. The statement defines, explains, and clearly expresses the ‘character’ of the company. The statement not only positions the company in the market, but also expresses the unique value offered to customers. This unique value often highlights what customers and potential staff want and can’t get from competitors (the competitive advantage).
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Today I answered your question: “How do you maintain a competitive advantage?”
Creating and maintaining a strong competitive advantage is a highly specialised skill. In contemporary businesses it is often the job of the Chief Technology Officer (CTO). So, from a CTO’s perspective, it is a company’s ability to adapt that is key to maintaining a dynamic competitive advantage. Here are two reasons why.
The current business environment changes every 18 months as a result of technological advancements. Technology advancements, for example, can create new ways to deliver services (e.g. Netflix streaming films rather than dvd’s), creates new types of products (VoIP phones rather than analogue lines), and new ways to deliver value to customers (convenient e-commerce rather than in store shopping). Another point to consider is that as competitors become aware of your competitive advantage, they copy it while overcoming what you are not able to offer your customers, so creating a competitive advantage is an ongoing activity.
So, a key capability each organisation should have to maintain a competitive advantage is the ability to adapt to the changing business environment and to customers changing buying habits and needs. However, not all aspects of a business can be adapted. For example, changing the culture of a well-established global organisation is tricky, time consuming (longer than 18 months) and seldom successful (IBM is an example of a successful cultural change).
Regular research can provide an intimate awareness of the business environment that provides insights into change. Insights come from current, authoritative research of competitors, market trends, legislative changes, and emerging technology trends on a local and global scale. Local and global is necessary because the internet has destroyed geographical boundaries. As changes occur the company can identify new opportunities for competitive advantage and adapt accordingly.
Another way an organisation can be adaptable is to gain insights from customers by effectively and efficiently collecting, analyzing and skilfully using relevant knowledge from within the organisation. A simple example we see everywhere is asking customers for feedback on the product/service/process as they have experienced it. The feedback can be used to enhance the organisation and increase the customers satisfaction dealing with the organisation. This translates into a loyal, happy customer who will think twice about leaving for a competitor. It also helps the company stay in touch with their customers changing habits and needs.
This answer to your question is an example of what retired CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, meant when he said, “An organisation’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage”.
Today I answered your question “Where can I ask people to rate my brand/domain name?”
Today, most businesses conduct continuous surveys to stay in touch with clients changing needs. I would recommend you do the same.
A survey can be one simple, targeted question for respondents to fill in rather than many, irrelevant questions. Keep it short and easy for people to complete and tell them why you are asking the question(s).
If you are looking for feedback on your brand from any source and you don’t know anyone, try joining business groups, for example, those on Facebook and ask the group members for their opinion. Remember it is just an opinion.
If you are looking for feedback from existing and potential clients, try compiling a simple survey for them to complete.
The survey should have a specific objective. For example, rather than saying ‘rate my brand/domain name’, your survey should ask questions that provide an answer to whether your brand is clear, or strong for the sector. Be specific about what you are trying to find out. By doing so it will guide you to ask the right questions. For example, ask whether the colours or name are offensive.
Use a combination of positive and negative questions for balance. Ask for additional comments too. Try asking closed questions requiring a yes, no, answers and make sure your questions are not worded in a leading way that forces the participant to give you the answer you want to hear.
You could, for example, ask respondents to rate the effectiveness of the brand on a scale of 1 to 5 or rate the impact of the brand from a negative impact at -5 to a powerful positive impact at +5. Do not ask the respondent for personal details as you don’t need them to determine your brand rating.
I use SurveyMonkey because it forces you to keep to a few questions keeping things relevant, and it collates the responses for you in graphic form making it easier for you to see the results which inform your decisions going forward.
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We have had 785 views of our answer to your question posted on the 29th July 2020!
Your question was: “How does a company develop the culture of a business? Is it something that is planned or eventually forms as the business grows and develops?”