Just for fun, for the season and the year-end, these are the lyrics to, yes Rudolph the red nosed reindeer. The poem was written by Robert May an advertising executive commissioned by Montgomery Ward department stores in the USA, and made famous in song by Bing Crosby as well as many other artists.
Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer had a very shiny nose.
And if you ever saw him, you would even say it glows.
All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names.
They never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games.
Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say:
“Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?”
Then all the reindeer loved him as they shouted out with glee,
Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history!
So what does this have to do with competitive advantage? Being able to see what value you have in house and exploiting it, is the essence of understanding competitive advantage. Once seen, and your value is identified, then your value has to meet three other criteria, rarity, imitability and organization effectiveness.
Rudolph’s shiny nose had value, well it did to him, and while at first the other reindeers shunned him because of his shiny nose, Santa saw something that would help him in his annual task of delivering presents at Christmas time.
Santa realized that Rudolph’s shiny nose was a valuable resource for his work; he also realized that he could exploit this value as he had the resources to do that as well as the capability. Additionally he knew that a shiny nose was a rare asset, as no other reindeer had a shiny nose. And yes, he realized that this shiny nose while being very useful for Santa on dark, cold, foggy nights was not capable of being imitated by the other reindeers.
So Santa did the only thing that made sense to him. Santa asked “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Rudolph agreed and so Santa used his annual ride around the world, and put to good use this valuable asset that Rudolph has. Hence Santa had the resources and capabilities to make use of Rudolph’s shiny nose, and all four criteria of the VRIO were met (see articles #3 & #4 for VRIO details)
I hope you enjoyed this short and simplistic way of understanding how to achieve competitive advantage!
I have published 8 previous articles on how to achieve competitive advantage.
Seasons greetings to you all, and have a very happy holiday, merry Christmas, happy Chanukah, or Kwanzaa and, may your god go with you. Oh and a happy and prosperous new year to you all.
Image courtesy of: http://fr.forwallpaper.com/wallpaper/santa-and-rudolph-169131.html
‘Strategic Global Group (SGG) establishes your Competitive Advantage’.
Phil Wilton has worked in MNC’s as well as developing start-ups and business expansion for SME’s. He received his MBA in International Business, Strategy, Marketing and Emerging Markets from the University of Liverpool. He also completed Business Strategy – Achieving Competitive Advantage at Cornel University.
Feel free to contact Phil (SGG) for a no obligation discussion on how he can help your firm.