Polish your distinctive competence
“ ... distinctive competence is the way you make the list in the mind of your customers. ”
Your distinctive competence is what sets your company apart. In a phrase, it defines your ability to deliver value to the marketplace, and it isn't a fluffy marketing tag line but instead is a real statement of capability that can be proven. Most importantly, it should reflect the impression that is formed in your customer's mind about what you are: why are you special, and why should they care?
Think about the distinctive competence of major consumer companies you know. You understand their branding, but consider the capability they need to deliver on their brand promise.
- Starbucks — deep understanding of the culture and experience of coffee.
- Wal-Mart — instant supply chain information that drives widespread availability and low prices of goods in demand.
- Apple Computer — breakthrough design focused on creating ease of use and integration with lifestyle.
In business-to-business markets, distinctive competence is the way you make the list in the mind of your customers. It is the collection of skills, technologies and resources that establishes you as unique and differentiates you from the competition. When your marketing message, products and services are aligned around your distinctive competence, the customer can identify you as a possible solution to his market problem.
Polishing your distinctive competence is an important first step that Embedify can help you with. We brainstorm a set of attributes your business has which potentially create value in the mind of your customers. We score these attributes on the relative value they provide, whether they are unique, if they are sustainable and what proof exists. By combining the set of attributes where value is high, uniqueness and sustainability are positive, and proof points are evident, a distinctive competence statement can be crafted.
When you understand and can communicate your distinctive competence, test the statement with your customers. Is this capability what they think is special about you? Is this capability something they deeply care about?
More insights on marketing:
Finding and targeting the market problems
Your business will be much more successful when your customers have a simple, clear impression of why your capability is important. Defining your distinctive competence helps you and your customers stay focused.