Can your product compete like Manchester United?
Does your product have the competitive edge Manchester United has? Find out what it takes for your product to be the Man Utd of your market.
The most successful side in English football with 19 Premier League titles, Manchester United is always a competitive force to be reckoned with. Never write them off to win the Champions League (1999, Bayern Munich fans know what I’m talking about) or mount a serious challenge for the league. Despite the emergence of Russian billionaires and Sheikhs increasing the spending power of Chelsea and Man City respectively. The Red Devils always appear to be fighting for the top prizes among football’s elite.
Needless to say, your product also needs to have that competitiveness to make it a success in the market and bread success for your business.
But what sets Man Utd apart from the likes of their Premier League rivals, and how can you tell if your product has the competitiveness of a Red Devil? Below you’ll find three questions to ask yourself to determine if your product can be the Man Utd of your market.
1. Does it offer a clear advantage over your rivals?
List all of the things your product does better than the competitor’s, and make a big deal about it. Focus on the benefits, communicate them and keep it consistent. You want everyone to remember why you’re better and different from the others.
United has Sir Alex at the helm, a stadium that fits 75 000 fans and a youth academy that produced the likes of Beckham, the Neville brothers, Giggs and Scholes.
Manchester United offers their fans a chance to be part of an amazing experience in a fantastic stadium nicknamed the Theatre of Dreams, and witness the greatest British manager take charge in the dugout.
2. Are your advantages sustainable?
Identify the things that aren’t easily replicable with your product e.g. design, the competence of your team, branding, engineering, etc. And determine how long it would take for others to replicate to establish whether your advantages are sustainable.
Knowledge and informational products such as books and research papers are hard to replicate, because the contents and value those products deliver are derived from someone’s brain. And along with patents, they’re protected to an extent from being copied by others.
With Manchester United, the club has a philosophy of a never say die attitude, which is not easily replicable with other football clubs. This philosophy is much like a product being protected by a patent. The advantage here lies in the togetherness and the skills of the team, together with the culture of the football club and the man management skills of Sir Alex Ferguson. Enabling the team to perform as a unit, in order to win games.
3. Can it withstand counter attacks from the other team?
In response to the emergence of your new product and its success. Your competitors are likely to counter your offensive with a counter attack. They might cut prices, or increase ad expenditure for their products. Regardless of how your competitors respond, your product needs to withstand the offensives from others to remain competitive.
Man Utd has overcome many threats from rival teams. Most notably the increased spending power of teams like Chelsea and neighbors Man City, which has led to astronomical wages and transfer fees.
Despite this shift in purchasing power, Manchester United still manages to bring success both on and off-field. According to a recent survey by the club, it claims to have 659 million fans globallyand remains the most valuable brand in football (2012).
Bottom line, make your customers happy and offer an experience they’ll never forget. And your product might just well compete on a similar like Man Utd – but it’ll take time to reach that level. Create products that people will love and keep on innovating to stay in top form.
Learn more about the author, Kostas Papageorgiou.
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- business communication
- competitive advantage
- marketing products
- manchester united