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What are the 3 types of competitive strategies?

3 types of competitive strategies

What are the 3 types of Competitive Strategies?

In the land of organic traffic, impression share and featured snippets, your product is as good as your competitive strategy allows it to be. Competitive strategies are the long-term plans of how a brand can develop an edge over competitors, attract consumers, and succeed in the digital landscape. Whether you’re in the market to improve the lives of your customers, offer the most affordable product/service, or offer the most advanced and top of the line technology your competitive strategy will determine how you will market your brand. In a way, it is what differentiates a brand from other brands in the market and therefore, and to a certain degree, determines the most suitable segment(s).

In the land of organic traffic, impression share and featured snippets, your product is as good as your competitive strategy allows it to be.

According to Michael Porter, professor at Harvard Business School, and others, there are 3 types of competitive strategies:


  • Operational excellence
  • Customer intimacy
  • Product leadership

These three types of competitive strategies are to marketers as the mother-sauces are to a chef. The goal of any competitive strategy is to excel in one of these aspects while maintaining an acceptable performance in the other two. Determining the brand advantage and practicality and leveraging it can have a monumental effect on the success of the brand.

We're at the beginning of a new era for digital marketing where content is no longer a king, it is the ``click`` that counts, and the one thing we all marketers seek.

Operational Excellence strategy

The objectives of the Operational Excellence strategy are to lower production costs, increase production volume and turn-over in order to offer the most affordable end-product to its customers, who often choose savings and low costs over product features or differentiation. Organizations that utilize this approach are many such as McDonald’s, Walmart, Kroger, and almost all super/hypermarkets.

For more info about Product Leadership strategy, please visit our article “How to adapt a “Product Leadership” competitive strategy in your marketing?

Customer Intimacy strategy

The organizational goals in Customer Intimacy strategy revolve around building a meaningful relationship with consumers and develop a product or customize a service that will help improve their lives. A Customer Intimacy strategy requires a closer bond with consumers in order to help them solve their problems.

This customer-centric approach has helped companies like Zappos, Apple, and Starbucks create loyal followers while simultaneously establishing themselves as industry leaders. For more details about Customer Intimacy (Customer Heterogeneity) strategy and how to utilize it in your marketing strategy, please check out our article “Making Customers Feel Special through the Customer-Centric Approach

Product Leadership strategy

The ultimate goal of a product leadership strategy is to offer an irresistible and top of the line end-product. When we mention product leadership we automatically think of BMW™, Alienware™, and Louis Vuitton™. These brands utilize product leadership strategies to differentiate their products from others in the market, and offer more than the usual car, laptop, or hand-bag. Achieving product leadership requires constant innovation and development in order to achieve and maintain a competitive advantage, which makes this strategy perhaps the most difficult of all strategies, but also the most rewarding. Product leadership strategy is extremely effective and the results include loyal brand followers, higher growth in profits, and semi-dominance within the brand targeted segment if executed well.

Check this article for a step by step guide on how to adapt a Product Leadership competitive strategy in your marketing.

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