By Shannon Sage
Competitive Advantage: What’s your Distinct Purpose?

Your organization exists for a very specific reason, and most likely its purpose is different than any other company out there. This is your competitive advantage, or distinct purpose.

Companies are founded for reasons as varied as something to do during retirement to making the world a better place. Unfortunately, sometimes business owners lose sight of why they started their business. If that’s you, here are a few questions to consider in determining your purpose:

  • Why was our organization started?
  • What business are we really in?
  • Why does our business exist? Or What would be different in the world if we did not exist?

One of our past Strategy Huddle’s focus on what a competitive advantage is and how to determine it in today’s environment. You can find it here.  This further explains how to identify your distinct purpose.


  • To jump-start your thinking, here are some examples of distinct purposes from organizations large and small:
  • To solve the growing diabetes crisis
  • To capitalize on a real estate growth trend
  • To work for myself
  • To provide quality window and door products better than anyone else
  • To make fitness a way of life for everyone by making it fun, easy, and accessible
  • To make my community a better place to live, work, and recreate through publicly accessible open space
  • To provide people with a great place to work
  • To be the perfect clown

An excellent way to uncover the purpose of your business from a different perspective is to talk with your employees. What do they think the distinct purpose of your organization is? Capture your staffs’ impressions of your business’ purpose, use an employee questionnaire. These responses will help you uncover your competitive advantage. You may be amazed at the insightful comments you receive back from your team. Consider filling out the questionnaire yourself because that might also surprise you!