Distinctive Competencies: Examples & Pros and Cons

Distinctive competencies are the combination of the best practices and technical skills that increase the competitiveness of an organization.

The idea of core competencies is to create unique and creative product that will be impossible for competitors to copy.

Moreover, theoretically, distinctive competencies should partially bring benefits to the consumer.

Distinctive competencies are the main source for organizations to grow and survive, and that’s precisely what differentiates the brand from competitors.

Evaluating both internal and external business environments is crucial to determine core competencies. Furthermore, distinctive competencies may be related to different areas.

For example, technology, marketing, or management.

3 Advantages of Distinctive Competencies

In order to gain an edge over the competition, developing effective, distinctive competencies is vital.

Due to the fact, that competitors may decide to develop new capabilities, market requirements may regularly change.

So, distinctive competencies must be identified through thorough analysis and organizations must be ready to meet the new requirements that are crucial for further development.

Distinctive Competencies Lead to Competitive Advantage – Distinctive competencies may lead to determining the most effective and efficient business development strategies.

For instance, after Kodak understood that its core competence is imagining, their company gained an edge over the competition.

Moreover, competitive advantage may be gained by any business that can produce products with fewer expenses or by effectively performing key activities.

Distinctive Competencies Bring Firm Sustainability – If an organization is not focused on offering certain products or services, and its goal is to gain sustainable advantage, it’ll result in solving new problems, rather than resolving the same over and over again.

Learning Faster Than Your Competitors – One of the best perks of distinctive competencies is learning and adapting to new requirements faster than your competitors.

This way, you’ll easily become the authority in your business field.

Identifying and Establishing Core Competencies

Analyzing the capabilities of new products that aim to cover a large number of potential consumers, will result in developing perfect competencies that are impossible to imitate, which will eventually lead to gaining competitive advantage.

In order to perfect a strategy that will unleash the full potential of the distinctive competencies, firstly, they must be defined.

Applying the method stated above will provide value to your consumers.

Why Core Competencies?

  1. Effective Human Resource Management – Act, according to the needs of your organization and ask, “what we need?”
  2. Training Programs – Programs that aim to meet the needs of the future are highly constructive.
  3. SWOT Analysis – Defining the strengths, threats, weaknesses and opportunities of an organization are essential for the business planning progress.
  4.  Outsourcing Options – Due to business functions interacting, unplanned consequences of distinctive competencies might occur.
  5. The Vision of the Company – Core competencies give opportunities to whether we’re good at something or not. Moreover, precisely knowing our strong and weak sides, will help to fully understand and exploit our advantages.
  6. Innovation is Essential – Distinctive competence identifies behaviors that are important and suitable for strategy planning.


Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company
Copyright © Houghton Mifflin Company

3 Cutting-Edge Examples of Core Competencies

Toyota’s Core Competencies – It’s a bit unusual, but it’s essential for you to know that operating without a distinctive competency is also possible.

Toyota operates under two ideals: continuous improvement and respect for people.

Google Inc. Core Competencies – Google’s goal is to educate the society, help them achieve their goals and care for the environment/culture.

People come to Google with innovative and out-of-this-world strategies.

Apple Inc. Core Competencies – Apple’s distinctive competencies encompass innovation, marketing, quality, strong customer service, simplicity and a strong financial performance.

Furthermore, Apple has a reputable brand, owing to its magnificent products. For instance, iPhone, iMac, iPod, iWatch, etc. Listen to Apple employees talking about the company’s competencies

How to Differentiate From Your Competitors

Assuming that your market research is done, it’s essential to consider that other organization may declare being professionals in your field of competence.

So, finding a way to stand out from your competitors is a must.

Your first priority must be creating a strategy that effectively communicates your core competencies.

Take the Helm –Telling your marketing department to communicate your competencies is easier to say than done, because it must include spreading a word about your organization, so instead of saying your marketing department to do the job, you should involve and engage every department in the planning process.

Focus on Your Market – It’s important to understand that the company is about the customer. Therefore, try to utilize their needs and maximally comprehend their requirements.

Ask questions “what is expected from you? Why your product is unique?”

Set Specific Objectives – Why do you want to communicate? Try to maximally specify your objectives. 

For example, avoid telling general things like “work more to get better results”, instead say that “increasing our productivity by 15% will increase sales by 5%.”

Think in Multiple Dimensions – Your strategy may oblige you to fight on several fronts.

For instance, you might have to work on the organization’s website enhancement and at the same time educate employees on how to communicate messages about your core competencies.

Is this article helpful?