How to Gain A Competitive Advantage in a Tough Market

By Jenny Hawkins

Being successful in business often means having to always stay ahead of your competition. Whether you decide to do that by being able to bring new products and services to the market first or expanding to new regions first, all that matters is that you stay ahead, one way or another. Doing this can be quite challenging as there is no single perfect answer as to how to beat your competitors. That said, there are a few things you can do to stay ahead of your competitors and gain a competitive advantage.

Solve Your Customer’s Pain Points

Customers are looking for solutions to a problem they have. Whether that solution is a product or service is usually of little concern to businesses as all they need to do is to solve these problems. Addressing the specific needs your target audience has better than your competition is one of the best ways to gain an advantage. A good way of coming up with potential solutions is by asking the right questions. Open-ended questions work best because they let potential customers expand on their thoughts, which can give you ideas about solutions that would work best.
Once you know of these pain points and have an idea of what solutions can help, assign the right person to solve specific pain points. By doing this, you will be solving a problem rather than selling a product or service that no one might want.

Establish Yourself in Your Niche

Businesses often look to establish a presence in markets that already have a lot of customers. The problem with this approach is that these types of markets may have a lot of businesses fighting for the same customers. While it is certainly possible to establish a presence in these markets, you also need a unique selling proposition to make a mark. If your proposition is strong enough, you will rise above the competition and get a foothold faster.
The best way to do this is through storytelling. Storytelling lets you create stories around your products or services. These stories have to be compelling enough for people to form a strong association with you and your brand. By forming a great connection with your customers, you can become a part of their lives as opposed to being just another business that sells to them.


Even if you have a strong foothold in a certain market, it is still important to specialise in a sub-niche within that niche. A smaller niche has less competition, so focusing on this specific area will make it easier to scale and grow. Customer retention in a smaller niche is also very good, and you have a huge advantage if you are the first business to provide meaningful solutions to pain points people may have in this specific niche.

Get the Right Investors

Investors give you a huge competitive advantage in several ways. Investors can help you bring products and services to the market first. Developing new products or coming up with new services takes a lot of time and money in research, market analysis, and more. Investors give you the capital you need to make these things go a lot smoother and faster.
Because of their investment, you will be able to research new products, have them developed and manufactured, and out in the market in a very short time. This gives you a huge advantage as you might corner the market before your competitors think about getting into the same market.

Hire the Right People

Businesses that do well often have a secret weapon: their employees. They are dedicated, love their jobs and, most importantly, are usually highly-qualified in the roles they are responsible for.
Because of this, attracting and hiring the right people has a direct impact on your business’s success. This success is what attracts investors to businesses, as highlighted in this report on securing investment for startups from Harper James Solicitors. Hiring the right team, especially in the early stages of building a business, is fundamental. Make sure you don’t rush the recruitment process for the sake of momentum. Don’t settle. Instead, build a team that shares your vision and the culture you want to build, and investors will see the value in your staff and your business

Tailor your Price to your Target Demographic

One of the best ways to stay ahead of your competition, especially in new or highly competitive niches, is to offer competitive pricing. When trying to determine what the ideal price would be, do your research. How are your competitors pricing their goods? And what are their USPs? How does your product differ? Once you do this, you will be in a better position to assess the value of your product when compared with that of your competitors. If your target demographic values low cost and it makes sense for your business model, you can settle on a low price point. But if your product has a unique USP, you should feel comfortable settling on a slightly higher price point.

Remember that studies have shown that people perceive goods at a higher price to be better. So, if you decide to use this strategy, ensure your products offer good value because if they do not, your strategy could backfire.

Also consider cutting out a segment of your target consumer who can afford your products at the price you want to set and market aggressively to them.

Use Differentiation

Differentiation has been used in a lot of industries, such as the car and smartphone industries. Here, businesses find one attribute that differentiates them from their competitors and make that a central point of their marketing strategy. A good example is Ferrari being a luxury car manufacturer and Oppo being a budget smartphone manufacturer. There may be other car or phone companies in the world, but they may not necessarily be what these two companies claim to be.

Differentiation can also work the other way as businesses can do research to find out what their customers need and then create niche products that serve those needs.

Use Your Strengths and Competencies

Your business has its own strengths and competencies. These should not be hidden but amplified and used to your advantage. These strengths and competencies might include technology, processes or knowledge that gives your business a competitive advantage.

These strengths and competencies can be used to innovate, create new products, or have a competitive edge in an emerging market. These can also be used to find and solve customer pain points, as well as provide some differentiation between you and your competitors.

Provide Valuable Customer Service
Businesses that offer memorable customer service attract repeat business and can help you build customer loyalty. It is also a good way to differentiate your business from others that may not be doing the same.

No matter the business you are in, you will always face competition from existing or new businesses. You need to learn to find ways to retain or gain a competitive advantage to stay in business. If you have a strong competitive advantage, you will be able to survive in any market, no matter its conditions.

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