In previous article, I revealed the 12 sources of sustainable competitive advantage. However, in this article; I will be sharing with you, companies that became market leaders by exploiting the various avenues of competitive advantage available. So without wasting your time, below are examples of companies with sustained competitive advantage in their niche or industry.
Example of Companies with Sustained Competitive Advantage
1. Strong research and Innovation
The technology industry is one of the leading industries with respect to strong research and innovation. And when it comes to setting the pace using innovation as leverage; Apple and Sony are the two companies that have held their leadership position using innovation as a competitive advantage.
2. Brand Popularity
Being recognized all over the world as a respected brand is a sustained competitive advantage that companies such as Virgin, Apple and Coca cola have used as leverage to hold the market sway for years. Virgin is a company that has used its brand name as leverage to break into new markets in completely new territories.
3. Corporate reputation
Corporate reputation is a form of sustained competitive advantage that companies such as Price Waterhouse and Berkshire Hathaway have leveraged to become world class entities.
4. Strategic assets
Holding strategic assets such as patents is a strong source of sustained competitive advantage and General Electric has stood the test of time because of the several patents held. Mind you that possession of these strategic assets has made General Electric one of the most powerful companies in the world.
5. High volume production
Dangote Group of companies became one of the leading conglomerates in Africa because of its ability to produce goods on high volume and ensure a uniform price throughout Nigeria.
6. Access to working Capital
Generally, public liability companies (quoted companies) have a sustained competitive advantage over private companies because of their infinite capacity to raise capital from the public. Take a look at how Oracle acquired 57 companies in a space of five years and Reliance Industries investing a billion dollars in a single swoop to open a chain of retail stores.
7. Barriers to Entry
Barriers to entry due to government restrictions and regulations have been the source of sustained competitive advantage for companies such as Telmex and Chevron.
8. Superior Product or customer support
IKEA has become a market leader in the furniture industry because of its ability to provide superior product at an affordable rate; backed by a strong customer support system.
9. Exclusive re-selling or distribution rights
The Coscharis Group has become one of the leading automobile retailers in Nigeria and West Africa at large because of its possession of exclusive distributorship of BMW brand throughout West Africa.
10. Ownership of capital equipment
Ownership of capital equipment can be a source of sustained competitive advantage and Julius Berger has proved it by becoming a leading company in the construction industry.
The ability to change swiftly is a strength and source of sustained competitive advantage that Microsoft leveraged upon to become the largest software company in the world.
12. Speed and Time
Speed and time was once an overlooked source of sustained competitive advantage until FedEx and Domino Pizza used it as leverage to become industrial pacesetters.
13. Low pricing
Wal-Mart as at the time of this writing is the most capitalized company in the world. Thanks to its low pricing strategy that became its strong source of competitive advantage.
13. Superior database management and data processing capabilities
GTBank, AT&T, Google, Facebook have become market leaders in their various niches because of the superior database management and data processing capabilities they possess.
As a final note, these are the sources of sustained competitive advantage and the corresponding companies that leveraged such advantage. The message I am trying to pass across through this article is that you don’t have to win at every level; you just have to win at one level. If you can’t win with constant innovation or low price, you can win with speed and flexibility.