Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What’s Your “Nike Swoosh” (aka, Competitive Advantage)?

You very easily recognize Nike’s swoosh with its message and tagline, “Just do it.” That statement embodies the company’s mission and lifestyle – to name just a few sports: golf, basketball, jogging – above all, an active lifestyle. During Nike’s existence, it has embraced its competition and surpassed each and every one of them in terms of brand recognition and revenues. Who even remembers Nike’s competitors: Fila, Keds, LA Gear, Puma, and Vans? What about your business: do you have a competitive advantage, and is it articulated to all employees?

Answers to these questions will assist you as you build your business from concept stage into a mature company. A competitive advantage that is clearly articulated by top management allows all employees to understand the product or service. They will be able to answer questions, they will be able to improve customer interactions, and they will become an extension of your brand.

Consider Disney theme park employees, or in Disney-speak, cast members. Based on their actions, demeanors, or uniforms (or in Disney-speak, costumes), they understand their mission: to provide a quality guest experience. The cast member employees embody the Disney brand, and that is their most important competitive advantage.

So, what is your competitive advantage? If you cannot express it easily, perhaps, you should go back to the drawing board.

The Nike logo is a registered trademark of Nike. Use of the logo here does not imply endorsement of the organization by this site.

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