A competitive position is the value offered by a brand, product or service relative to the other offerings in a market. It is often modeled with a simple graph known as a competitive position map that plots your offerings against the competition for any two parameters that customers value. The following are illustrative examples of competitive positions.
PriceProducts that offer few benefits typically compete on price. In some industries, price is everything and a lower cost base is a significant competitive advantage.
DecorThe decor of a location such as a restaurant. For example, the following competitive position map shows us that Pascal's offers fancy decor at a reasonable price. (illustrative, fictional restaurants)
Quality such as artisan food versus food that uses commodity ingredients. For example, the following competitive position map is based on food quality and decor. It shows that Pascal's has a competitive weakness in that its food is low quality relative to its decor.(illustrative, fictional restaurants)
Customer ServiceThe level of service offered.
PerformanceThe performance of a product or service such as the speed of a computing device.
HealthThe perceived health benefits of a product or service. Saving the customer time and effort. For example, locations that are close to the customer.
ComfortFeatures that make the customer feel good such as heated seats in an automobile.The risk profile of a product or service such as an airline that is perceived as safe.
FunctionsFunctionality differences such as city bicycles versus mountain bicycles.Identity such as brands that are primarily associated with snowboarding culture as opposed to brands that are viewed as a skiing brand.
StyleStyling differences such as modern furniture versus traditional.
CraftThings that are handmade with skill as opposed to things that are factory produced.Tailoring products and services to customer needs and preferences.
VarietyVariety such as an ecommerce platform with a million products in stock versus one with a thousand products in stock.
TermsTerms such as a retailer with a generous return policy versus one known for rejecting returns.Efficiency such as an electronic device that goes a day on a battery charge versus one that lasts 8 hours.In many cases, a firm dominates an industry simply because their products are more pleasing and productive to use.
CapabilitiesCapabilities such as an IT consultant that can source every role for a large project versus a consultant that can only source a few specialist roles.
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