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Value+Scarcity: The source code for positioning for competitive advantage.

In every business category, customers have abundant choice. When there is abundant choice, competition is fierce. To distinguish your business from the slush pile, you must represent an idea that is valuable and in short supply.

Why would a customer choose your business / brand vs. a competitor?

The answer to that question lies in your strategic positioning– how well you distinguish and elevate your offer to customers in ways that enhance relevant differentiation. Two attributes drive the relevance and the power of your competitive advantage – value and scarcity.


Value is always in the eye of the beholder. When your offer/product/service is truly valuable to a customer, it will provide a solution to an affliction, or help achieve a dream or desire. This is the “idea of value” your business represents in the minds of customers and clients.

When you solve a problem or help achieve a goal, your business / brand will have relevance to the customer’s need. Your value is determined by your relevance. When you are relevant to a need or desire, you will command their attention. Attention is the currency of the marketplace. When your idea of value commands the attention of clients and customers, you will have positioned your value with distinction and razor sharp precision.


Salt is common, diamonds are rare. Scarcity is fundamental to supply and demand. People tend to place more value on what is in short supply. Consequently, the idea of value that your business / brand occupies in the mind of a customer or client can only be obtained from you. When you’re the ONLY source in the marketplace where clients can remove their pain or achieve their desire, your competitive advantage is guaranteed.

When your strategic positioning is centered in the principle of scarcity, you will also command premium pricing and competition will be irrelevant.

Saying it’s so, doesn’t make it so.

The attributes value and scarcity cannot be marketing claims. These attributes are revealed to customers over time through your behavior in the marketplace. Customers decide who wins in the marketplace, not your marketing. Your value proposition needs to meet a high standard to be positioned in the mind with precision.

For competitive advantage, your value proposition must meet these criteria:

  • Be simple, specific, motivating with unquestionable relevance to the target customer or client.

  • Be distinctive and differentiated from available alternatives.

  • Provide a unique offer that is emotional, credible, sustainable and extendable.

  • Becomes the guiding principle or north star for your consistent and positive behavior in the marketplace.

Your power, impact and influence with customers and client are determined by their belief that what you offer is highly valued and in short supply.

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