Competitive Advantage

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Competitive strategies are also important. Competitive strategies are concerned with doing things better than rivals. To be competitive a firm shouldn't just copy the ideas of rivals. They should seek to out compete rivals. There are two main ways of being competitive.

1. By selling goods at lower prices than rivals. This is possible when a firm is the market leader and benefits from economies of scale.

2. By differentiating your product from those of rivals - which enables you to charge a higher price if desired.

The airline industry is divided into two main segments. At one end of the market are the premium price category firms such as British Airways that concentrate on differentiation. They offer better service to passengers, more legroom, in flight entertainment, and more individualised attention. At the other end of the market the emphasis is on being the low cost producer and is exemplified by 'no frills' airlines such as Ryanair. Ryanair focuses on short haul destinations and keeping its planes in the air as frequently as possible in a 24 hour period.

Economies of scale - The advantages that large firms have from producing large volumes of output enabling them to spread their costs over more units of output.

Differentiation - Making a product different from rival offerings e.g. through packaging and labelling, customer care, additional extra features, etc.