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Determining Your Strengths

Determining your business' strengths is the first step in building your competitive matrix. Watch Ken Burke explain more.
All right, let’s build your competitive positioning matrix. Now, there are three easy parts to this. Part 1 is we need to pick your best strengths. We want to make sure we nail those strengths. Part 2 is we need to select your competitors. Who do we want to represent on the matrix? And part 3, we need to evaluate and plot those competitors on the matrix overall. Now, I’m really excited because I love chocolate. And I picked the chocolate industry in which to do our competitive matrix. And my favourite chocolate company is Christopher Elbow Chocolate. Let’s plot Christopher Elbow Chocolate and build a matrix for that company right now.
Let’s start with part 1, which is selecting your competitive strengths. And really what this part represents is selecting your x- and y-coordinate. It’s really important. This is the trick. It’s a little bit hard to pull off, but this is the trick. You want to pick those two strengths that when you create the intersection between strength 1 and strength 2, it creates this exponential explosion, this 1 plus 1 equals a million. You take these two strengths, and when you combine them together, then they give you that competitive advantage, then they give you that differentiation, which I think is really important. Again, it’s a little bit hard to come up with, but I’m going to walk you through it, so don’t worry.
Now, step 1 to this is pick a few strengths that really resonate for you. Now, I’m giving you a list of a lot of different strengths we’re going to go through, and there’s more on our website as well. But I only want you to pick a maximum of five or six. You don’t want to go overboard with this. All right, so let’s come up with a couple of strengths. One, quality– quality is always an easy one and a good one to pick. You’re the best quality in the marketplace. You’re better quality than anybody else out there. Price is another one that a lot of people migrate to, but I want you to be a little careful about price.
You really have to have something that price goes beyond. It has to be sustainable. It has to be something that really resonates with the customer as well. Authenticity– authenticity is a great one because how authentic you are can really resonate. And if you’re more authentic than your competitors, that might be a good one for you as well. Completeness of offering– completeness of offering or total solution can be one that really sets you apart as well. You’ve got a more complete solution than anybody else. Or how about breadth of offering? Breadth of offering is where you have a wide variety of offering. You have a big product line or a big solution set that you go into the market with.
Or depth– depth would be how narrowly focused you are, how deep you go on any one individual area. Expertise– expertise is a great one, that you are more expert at whatever product or service that you provide than anybody else in the marketplace. Service levels– let’s say that you have the best service in the marketplace. You really want to differentiate based on that. Could be service levels, it could be a great strength for you as well. How about convenience? Convenience is also a good one. You might be more convenient than your competitors, and that could be a really good one to select. How about your technology and the sophistication of your technology or how advanced your technology is?
And that’s another differentiation point between you and your competitors. And finally, the ability to customise– I always like this one because in certain businesses being able to customise your solution or your product can be a real big benefit to consumers out there as well. Now, let’s take a look at the chocolate business and Christopher Elbow Chocolate. I absolutely love these chocolates, as I said earlier. Let’s go ahead and take a look inside by pulling up beautiful packaging that he has as well. But wait until you see the chocolates inside. They are absolutely delightful. And so we’ll just uncover those. And now you can see. Them they’re absolutely beautiful.
And what makes Christopher Elbow so special is everything about them, the presentation to the way they taste. And we’re going to take a look at some of the strengths in just a moment. But I want to tell you, every time that I’ve given Christopher Elbow Chocolates as a gift, people open the box just like I did. And they stare at them and say, wow, these are gems. These are so beautiful. So let’s take a look at what Christopher Elbow’s strengths are. Number one would be the quality of the chocolate. This is the highest quality chocolate that you’re going to find out there. He uses only the best ingredients, and his customers know it as well. Two, the uniqueness of flavour.
Now, the uniqueness of flavours, he’s come up with some just amazing flavours like brown butter caramels. Oh, they’re delicious. Or balsamic strawberry, also another really interesting one as well. Beautifully designed, I mean, as you look at these little gems here, you can tell that these are designed– these are the most beautiful chocolates that most people have ever seen. His service levels– his service levels both in-store and through his website are exceptional. How about the in-store experience? If you’ve ever been into a Christopher Elbow store, it’s elegant. It’s sleek. There’s a cafe in the back. You can get your premium hot chocolate, delicious, by the way.
There’s chocolate making courses and other things that you can do to really get his customers involved in the overall process. And I think that’s a strength as well. And unique packaging– throughout the year he’s always offering different selections, both in the chocolate and the packaging, to really make that season come alive for Valentine’s Day, for Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. So uniqueness of packaging is also a good strength. And finally, you can actually personalise this chocolate. You could put your initials on it for weddings. You can select custom flavours as well, which he will develop for special occasions and things. So personalization can also be kind of a nice one. [LOGO SOUNDS]

The first step in the process of building your competitive matrix is determining your strengths. We will show you how to pick the optimal strengths for your business so you show your business in the best possible light.

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