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Strategic wisdom has it that you need to identify what you can do really well if you’re going to best the competition. This is important advice, but it’s not sufficient. Often your core competency is the same one your competitor has. So unless your competency is seen as markedly better in your clients’ eyes, you have no meaningful differentiation, zip advantage, nada uniqueness.
The key to marketplace uniqueness is having some distinct capability or attribute that makes you clearly superior to competitors in something that clients care about. Distinct competencies are the very heart of strategy. Here are a few questions you need to think through:
Your distinct competency is the secret sauce, the get-out-of-jail-free card, the force field that yields more and better business. I can think of no other objective more worthy.
Patrick J. McKenna consults on competitive strategy and conducts special programs for new managing partners.