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The Four Gears of Competitive Advantage

The Four Gears of Competitive Advantage

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In the article, The Strategy Accelerator, Alfred Griffioen shares four gears for differentiation and competitive advantage:

  1. First gear - No unique product and low customer relevance.
  2. Second gear - High customer relevance but no unique product.
  3. Third gear - A unique product but low customer relevance.
  4. Fourth gear - High customer relevance and a unique product.

Strategies for Each Gear
Griffioen shares strategies for each of the gears, to make the most of your market position:

Scenario Solution
First gear - No unique product and low customer relevance. Ally with others as the quickest way to build competence or product portfolio.
Second gear - High customer relevance but no unique product Combine several matching products under your brand and become even more relevant for your customers.
Third gear - A unique product but low customer relevance. Excel in what you do to make sure that you can continue to develop.
Fourth gear - High customer relevance and a unique product. Consolidate your position by constant renewal and by keeping close watch on your competitors.

I think it’s useful for evaluating, and is complementary to existing competitive models.