Competitive Advantage

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For a corporation to maintain its competitive advantage, they must be able to protect company knowledge or “trade secrets”.  If we think in terms of corporations competing within the same industry, they have many similarities to sports teams.  Each team has its own play book which they protect from the competition.  Although they run plays for all to see the goal is to not make these plays simple enough that they are easily taken to be used by competitors.  They often times hire coaches from competitors hoping to gain the knowledge that made them successful.  Competition can lead to innovation, which at times can help consumer prices.  Cost leadership as a competitive strategy has been used across various markets and industries.  We as consumers are often swayed to try a competitors substitute product which often times offers all the same benefits but includes several upgrades or has a lower cost.  These substitutes highlight the reason competitive strategy discusses the importance of sustaining an advantage, and encourages that success revolves around low imitability.  Even those consumers who have a strong brand loyalty are targeted with substitutes.  Which can for example come in the form of store brands at the local grocery store that compete with the established brand name products.

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