Do you understand the nature of competitiveness?

By Joe Truncale
In March 18, 2013

As we have done for many years, NAPL’s research team tracks ways in which the external operating environment is affecting industry firms large and small.  In what can best be described as an ongoing paradox, the industry continues to become more competitive even as the number of companies contracts. Since neither of these two trends will abate anytime soon, understanding the nature of competitiveness is more critical to business success than ever before.

At a time when challenges are many, one stands above all others. Simply put, I call it sameness; the fact that product and service offerings of too many companies looks too much alike.  Relationships and personalities still matter, but value, creativity and innovation are the key drivers of business success and these will matter more and more in an increasingly competitive marketplace. So, as much as it matters that our customers like us, like our people, and enjoy doing business with us, what matters even more is that they perceive us as being different in some tangible way that will keep them coming in our direction.

This is why even the most satisfied customers can quickly become former customers.  When we rely solely on relationships and personalities to maintain customers, we place ourselves In peril. It is uniqueness that will keep satisfied customers from defecting. And that uniqueness is the essence of strategy and the most important element in our competitiveness tool box.

To learn more about the Theory of Competitiveness (TOC) email me at jtruncale@napl.org.

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