Distinctive competency refers to a characteristic, strength, or quality that a business has which sets them apart from its competitors. A distinctive competency could be anything: a unique feature, a specific skillset, design, technology, distinctive branding, marketing, staff, or customer base. It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as other businesses don’t have it.
Companies that have a distinctive competency can offer more value to their customers. A unique and challenging to imitate feature can give a business a competitive edge. It also encourages others to improve their businesses, creating a healthy market.
One of the most common distinctive competencies is the business name. Think about Costco and Krispy Kreme. Thanks to their name recognition, these companies are thriving without traditional marketing strategies. Both brands are synonymous with what they do, and because of that, you only need to say the brand name for someone to understand what they do.
Another business that benefits from brand recognition is Amazon. However, the company used its other distinctive competencies to get to that level. Their mission to become the “earth’s most customer-centric company” pushed them to produce a platform that offers true convenience to its users. Their UX, distribution network, and customer service are just some of the distinctive competencies Amazon has used to reach the top.
Forming a business strategy around distinctive competencies involves focusing on features no other business has.
These strategies are built around innovation and being first to market, rather than emulating what other companies are already doing. The hope with a strategy like this is that the business can fill a gap in the market and attract customers by offering something no other company can offer.
A distinctive competence gives your business an edge over all your competitors. Building a business strategy around distinctive competencies helps focus your marketing efforts on the right parts of your business. It also emphasizes innovation and creativity to continue to offer unique products or services.
Distinctive competencies can give new businesses an advantage, even when their competitors have the competitive advantage of being well established.
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