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Competitive Advantage

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Competitive Advantage

With the downturn of the economy, businesses are concentrating on new and innovative ideas and techniques to gain a competitive advantage over their competitors. According to John R. Graham, some issues that could cause a business to loose its competitive advantage is to simply expect the economic tide to float your boat and to think solely about what the company wants instead of what its customers want (John R. Graham, 2010).

Pricing is also a factor in competitive advantage according to Doug Fuehne, Vice President of professional services at PROS. Profitability improvements from pricing depend on investing in strategies and tools to examine, rationalize and enforce pricing policies and best practices (Doug Fuehne, 2010).

The textbook states that a large issue with a company gaining a competitive advantage, is that they are short-lived due to the competition striving to duplicate or out-do the product that currently holds the competitive advantage. It is true that once a company introduces an item that gains immediate popularity with consumers, not long after; another company is attempting to imitate that product. Luckily, businesses do have a chance to remain knowledgeable of external competition with the use of information technology. Companies can gather data that will inform them of current environmental trends so that they may stay ahead of the competition. Sustaining a competitive advantage creates above average performance within a company (Apostolos Zaridis, 2009). The issue with attempting to continuously hold a competitive advantage is that innovative ideas may become more and more difficult to come by.

In order to get ahead on the competition, I believe businesses should use a mixture of methods to try and stay ahead of the game. A company should strive for competitive prices, stay on top of the current trends, keep its eyes wide open, never lose contact with customers, and provide superb customer service. If a business can tie many of these goals together, it stands a good chance of holding the advantage over competitors.

Since the decline in the economy, most businesses have struggled to stay afloat. Starbucks, even though it is a hip, trendy and popular business has had to resort to closing some of its locations. Companies have turned to using extra incentives to keep up with the competition and lure in customers. One company that seems to have exceeded during this slow economic condition is Apple Inc. Apple, over the last 4 years, has excelled in the smart phone market. The announcement of the application store hit the market with a bang and has yet to slow down. Buyers love the variety of applications that they can load onto their Apple device and carry in their pocket with them. Apple Inc. is a



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