Download PDF version (29.2k) The full article is available as a free PDF document.
A primary focus for companies wanting to stay in the lead in an increasingly competitive marketplace is differentiation: something that makes a company stand out from the rest of the pack. Low price can be an effective differentiation, but only if it isn't met by competition. Realistically, this is unlikely. Other areas of differentiation include: customer relationships, quality products, communication, image, installation techniques, community involvement, service after the sale, delivery to the jobsite, cleanliness of the job, and guarantees. Differentiation must also be promoted in order for it to be effective. Uniqueness must be reinforced through direct mail, sales contacts, customer events, and public relations. Companies with marketing and sales programs that focus on communicating differentiation maintain a competitive edge.