A competitive advantage is something that sets the company apart from its competitors. In order to entice customers, a company needs to have something that it does better than its competitors. The more competitive advantages the firm has, and the stronger they are, the more competitive the company will be in the marketplace.
Lola Savannah has a number of competitive advantages that help it in the marketplace. One advantage that Lola has is with respect to freshness and the quality of the roast. Freshness is important because freshly-roasted coffee tastes better, and this is especially true for coffee that has been pre-ground. Coffee from major food companies or importers like Sunbelt Imports lacks the freshness of Lola's coffee. Lola ensures that it receives its beans as quickly as possible from the harvest by working with wholesalers to shorten the supply chain. The fresh beans are then roasted in Houston. Not all roasters are created equal. Lola has a high quality roasting drum, and an expert roaster on staff. Better roasting brings out more of the delicate flavors that differentiate a great cup of coffee from a good one.
The online ordering system also helps to enhance freshness. This system allows consumers to work with the company to schedule the roasting and shipment of their beans. The use of UPS as a logistics provider allows Lola Savannah to deliver the coffee from Houston to anywhere in the country with just a few days, so that the beans arrive when they are at their peak freshness. The serious coffee shops and retailers that comprise the Lola Savannah customer base appreciate freshness of product and rapid delivery, and often tell the company this is one of the reasons they deal with Lola Savannah.
Another advantage that Lola has is its ability to match flavors. Lola Savannah has over 80 flavors that it can create in its coffees. This is more than any of its competitors. Flavored coffees are highly popular, and can also be used in a number of other coffee-based beverages. The quality and variety of the flavors forms another competitive advantage. The supply chain is another source of competitive advantage for Lola Savannah. With coffee it is important to have contacts around the world in order to access the best coffees. Each region has its own character, and Lola has contacts with wholesalers around the world that enable it to get a great mix of beans from all over -- fruity Central American beans, earthy Pacific beans, and complex African ones. This ability to source the best coffees to complement Lola's flavorings allows for Lola to extend the competitive advantage that is has from the flavors alone.
Beyond product, another advantage for Lola is the brand name that the company has built over time. Lola competes against not only Sunbelt Importers but also Katz Coffee as well, and the quality of Lola's coffees attracts strong wholesale business from the likes of Kroger, Fiesta, HEB and a number of small coffee shops around town. With this customer base, Lola has broad exposure in the local area, and that attracts even more wholesale customers and fans of the retail operation as well.
Lastly, Lola Savannah aims to have a competitive advantage in service. There are a number of elements to the service component that the company seeks. The first is that Lola Savannah aims to have a high level of customer satisfaction not just with the product but with the entire experience from the first time a prospective customer visits the website to the moment with the end user is drinking the coffee. . The site is designed in such a way that buyers can find the information they need about the coffee. There are multiple customer service options and Lola Savannah staff are always willing to walk a customer through the number of different options. Because the coffee is produced in small batches, custom orders are also possible. Additionally, Lola Savannah offers service in both English and Spanish, to meet the needs of as many Texan customers as possible. By focusing on a service orientation, Lola Savannah can outperform the larger competitors, such as Katz Coffee and Sunbelt Imports, who cannot offer the same high level of care and attention. This service, along with the exceptional coffee, is what draws customers to Lola Savannah and it is also what will make the customers into loyal customers who keep coming back.