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How can companies compete in real time?

In our globalized, dynamic world, the question for many companies is what is their Unique Selling Proposition? How can products be sustainably differentiated from one another? In many cases, price and advertising pressure are used as strategic tools to increase competitiveness.

However, it is also clear that there is more and more competition worldwide and the Internet enables constant comparability of offers without any major barrier. Customer sentiment is changing rapidly, and therefore adapting offers to the market is a major challenge for manufacturers, for example. That’s why our customers want to know how to differentiate themselves from the competition in real time.

The more competition there is in the markets and the easier it is to compare products, the more the differences fade in the eyes of customers. A simple example is the rain jacket. The number of rain jackets for different occasions and situations is hard to keep track of, and even the features make little difference. The brand thus becomes more and more important, as does the communication to properly convey the benefits and added value.

But how would manufacturers know which features are important to customers? How can they predict what will make the significant difference in the eyes of customers in a particular market?

For these reasons, qualitative insights into customer behavior as well as into their preferences are becoming increasingly important. Being able to identify customer preferences in real time also means being able to evaluate communications with customers as well as consumers. For rain jacket manufacturers, this means gaining a data-driven understanding of the athlete and recreational athlete ecosystem to make the right decisions.

The result is the ESP, the “Emotional Selling Proposition”, instead of the “Unique Selling Proposition.” It is less about differentiating in general through price and advertising and more about understanding exactly what customers want.

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Dr. Korbinian Spann
22. August 2021