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A Real Standout

When customers ask "why should I buy?" you can win their dollars--and their loyalty--by showing your competitive advantage.

This story appears in the June 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Why should customers do business with you and not your competitors? If you can't answer that question quickly and easily, you may be losing customers and market share. It all comes down to what's called your "competitive advantage"--an essential component that customers value. It's something you do differently or better than your competition. A strong competitive advantage is the differentiator that makes customers want to buy from you. And this point of differentiation should be the central theme in all your marketing messages.

A true competitive advantage relates directly to a benefit customers value that's unique to your organization. What benefit do your customers or clients get from your business that they can't get elsewhere? Choosing the right competitive advantage boils down to understanding what your customers want. It's not about what you offer, but how the customer benefits because of what you offer.

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