The Truth About Competitive Advantage

By Larry Robertson, CEO | Inventors

Jun 15
competitive advantage

“The one thing that ceases to exist the moment it is shared.”

Many retailers see “private label” as their competitive advantage protecting their consumables margin, but what about broader categories of general merchandise?  Brick-and-mortar retailers need proprietary innovation in all categories and lots of it.

This is no secret.

All retailers and CPGs realize that innovation is more important today than ever before. They also realize that regular folks – their customers, occasionally come up with awesome product ideas that once developed, could be insanely valuable, but (and here’s the irony) neither they nor their suppliers are engaging with these folks at the concept stage.

In the meantime, the retail industry continues to spend billions of dollars every year, developing faster and more efficient methods of connecting customers and merchandise. The problem is that it’s basically all the same merchandise that everyone else carries and when something innovative does come along, it often shows up everywhere, digitally, all at the same time.

This brings me back to the old adage about competitive advantage, “If everyone has it, no one has it.”

We’re AON Invent, the inventor’s best friend and America’s innovation depository.

For more on this topic read: Digital Judo is changing everything

About the Author

Larry is the CEO and co-founder of AON Invent. He has enjoyed a career that has spanned sales, marketing, and product innovation for companies that include subsidiaries of AMR/American Airlines, Learjet and Sam's Club. In 1995 he teamed up with Ron Loveless, the founding CEO of Sam's Club, to launch a marketing and product development firm that grossed $500 million in its first 3 years. Over the past 20+ years, Larry has personally vetted over 1,000 product concepts and marketing strategies.