This category incorporates several types of competitive advantages including intellectual property rights (patents, trademarks, and copyrights), government approvals, brand names, a unique company culture, or a geographic advantage. It may be difficult to assess the durability of some of these advantages, so be sure you have a grasp of how long this type of competitive advantage might last. Brand equity, for example, can be damaged or slowly erode over time, while government approval can be revoked. Try to understand how susceptible a firm might be should this kind of advantage be disrupted.
Anytime people are willing to tattoo a company's logo onto their arms, it is a surefire sign of a powerful brand. The firm, the only continuous survivor from the original American motorcycle industry, is more than 100 years old. The brand built over this time has allowed Harley HOG dealers to sell motorcycles at or above manufacturer's suggested retail price for years. Despite selling essentially the same steel, chrome, and rubber as its competitors, it can charge premium prices for its products. And as we'll see in later lessons, Harley's brand has translated into solid financial results for the company.
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