Why You Should Compete To Be Unique, Not the Best


Here is another valuable Management Tip of the Day from Harvard Business Review. To sign up for a free subscription to any/all HBR newsletters, please click here.

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Most companies want to be the best at what they do. But in the vast majority of businesses, there is no such thing as “the best.”

•  Trying to imitate rivals will get you nowhere: It’s impossible to do exactly what your competitors are doing and end up with superior results.

•  Customers choose different products and services for different reasons, and it’s unlikely you’ll win them all. Instead, focus on creating superior value for the customers that choose your company.

•  Doing this profitably means accepting limits and making tradeoffs—you can’t meet every need of every customer. Don’t set out to win a war.

•  Instead find your audience and capture their attention and loyalty.

[Note: Presumably Steve Jobs would again insist on being the best, “insanely great,” because that differentiation would create and sustain a competitive advantage…but only as long, of course, as what one offers continues to be “insanely great.”]

Today’s Management Tip was adapted from “Stop Competing to Be the Best” by Joan Magretta.

To read that article and join the discussion, please click here.

Also, you may wish to check out the new book, Management Tips from Harvard Business Review, by clicking here.

To read my review of Joan Magretta’s book, Understanding Michael Porter, please click here.


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