How Products Are Developed To Sustain Competitive Advantage?


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Matthew Porter answered
In business, competitive advantage can be defined as the strategic advantage that one business entity has over its rivals within the same competitive industry. Achieving a competitive advantage puts a business in a stronger position within its business environment.

There are several ways in which a business might think about developing a product in order to sustain or build a competitive advantage:

• Staged release into the market
It could be considered beneficial to hold back certain developments you have made to a product so that you can release an improved version of the product periodically, rather than release it once and then fail to improve upon the product thereafter. The staged 'improvement' of the product can make it appear dynamic and exciting to the customer, whereas rival products might be perceived as static and boring in comparison.

• Differentiation and positioning
If you can differentiate your product from that of your competitors, then you can position yourself in a prime position in the market. If you can provide unique and special benefits to your customers that no one else can provide them, then you are well-positioned to maintain them as loyal customers.

• Research and marketing
The development of new products has to be based on the wants and needs of the customers. Rather than simply releasing a product and waiting to see if the demand is there for it, firms should be conducting market research beforehand in an attempt to find out whether there is a) a demand for a product and b) a gap in the market for the particular product if the firm releases it.

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