Companies that have competitive advantages are those that are able to generate profits higher than those of the companies with which they are competing. For example, of two different soft drink companies, the company that appeals to more customers and posts greater earnings is the one with the competitive advantage. To choose the best competitive advantage books, it is important that you identify your aims. If you are a business student, for example, the best competitive advantage books are probably those assigned by your instructors. Individuals who want an introduction to the main principles of competitive advantage, on the other hand, can probably benefit from general introductions to marketing, competitive intelligence, and other strategic management topics.
An important point to keep in mind when you are searching for the best competitive advantage books is that there are two different kinds of competitive advantage, cost advantage and differential advantage. When a company has cost advantage, is usually means that it is able to produce the same products as its competitors at lower cost. A company that spends less creating its products can sell them at prices lower than its competitors, increasing its profit margins since it probably sells more. When a company has a differential advantage, on the other hand, it usually is preferred by consumers because its products are thought to be of a higher quality.
You should pay attention to when a book originally was written and published if you are looking for the best competitive advantage books. This is especially true if you are interested in learning about competitive advantage within a certain industry or market. Economic factors and business environments change quite frequently, especially in industries that are highly dependent on technological innovation. Many authors update their books by adding chapters to new editions. A 30-year old book about the auto industry that has not been updated, however, probably contains little relevant information.
It can be a good idea to match your needs with the credentials of authors of competitive advantage books. For example, if you are performing scholarly research about competition in the software industry, the best books might be written by economic scholars who already have conducted research about this topic. If you want to learn how to gain the competitive advantage over your own competitors, on the other hand, you should make sure that books you choose are written by business decision makers who have been successful and whose advice you might find useful.