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Competitive advantage in the marketing of products within the enlarged European Union

Urša Golob (University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)
Klement Podnar (University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 10 April 2007



The purpose of this paper is to analyse competitive advantage in relation to the formulation of competitive product marketing strategies in European Union (EU) firms. It considers how it is possible to gain a competitive advantage through different product strategies.


The analysis is based on 18 EU member States (14 founding States and four new States that joined in 2004). To investigate the range of strategies is used by EU companies in both old and new member States, cluster, discriminant analysis and multiple comparison procedures are used.


The results show some differences in strategies between old and new EU member companies. Although a balanced strategy is most widely used in both groups, companies from new member states are fond of a price and quality mix whereas companies from the old member states favour a quality and distribution mix.

Research limitations/implications

A larger pool of competitive elements could provide more in‐depth insights. Thus, further research could include different internal and external factors that influence the choice of strategy.

Practical implications

To gain a more sustainable advantage in the new competitive milieu all EU member companies should be able to successfully integrate all marketing elements employed in the strategy.


This paper provides an insight into competitive strategies of EU member companies and a basis for monitoring the levels of competitiveness of member states and the competitive marketing practices of different companies within the EU.



Golob, U. and Podnar, K. (2007), "Competitive advantage in the marketing of products within the enlarged European Union", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 41 No. 3/4, pp. 245-256.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited