CEO BrainFood

002 What is Competitive Advantage?

Episode Summary

Welcome to CEO Brain Food, a show aimed at providing key insights, fresh perspectives, and proven tools that CEOs can apply to build enterprise value, generate higher profits and develop the talent needed to succeed in their businesses. In this episode of CEO Brain Food, Michael breaks down the importance of identifying the core competency within an organization in order to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Through historical case studies from Southwest Airlines and L’Oréal, Michael highlights how organizations leverage their differentiation in order to profit. Finally, Michael speaks to the importance of identifying and understanding the core customer and provides organizations with questions to reflect on as they begin the process of identifying their core competency.

Episode Notes

01:05 – Introducing today’s topic, Competitive Advantage
04:09 – How to differentiate from competitors
06:03 – Identifying your core customer
08:43 – The Southwest Airlines example
11:06 – Attribution Framework Analysis
14:59 – Why companies struggle to implement this framework
17:39 – A common mistake many mid-market companies make
18:20 – The importance of the emotional experience
21:00 – Questions companies can consider as they begin the process of identifying their core competency
22:28 – Michael teases the topic of the next episode of CEO Brain Food


“He defines strategy as the creation of a unique and valuable position involving a different set of activities from your competitors.” (04:37)

“Understanding your core competencies and understanding who it is that you really want to do business with and what it is you’re delivering to them, your uncommon offering, allows you to invest in those strengths and leverage them, which are differentiators.” (08:05)

“What you’re looking for are those attributes that are not well represented by any competitor. Those are the opportunity areas for you to move in and differentiate and be unique.” (13:06)

“This is like turning a ship, a big ocean liner out in the ocean. You can’t turn it on a dime, right? It takes a couple of miles to really change course and it takes a lot of effort.” (15:37)

“Start thinking about your transactions as satisfying an emotional experience.” (18:20)

“When you have something that’s uncommon and unique in the marketplace, you’re really the king of the mountain. I mean you can control your destiny a lot better.” (20:43)


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