The more difficult and costly a resource or capability is for competitors to imitate, the more likely that is can provide a sustainable competitive advantage. Resources are difficult to copy when they are unique. For instance, an amazing real-estate location, a patent-protected technology, or uniquely talented workforce. Even resources and capabilities that are valuable, rare, and hard to imitate can lose their competitive power if rivals have other types of resources of equal or greater value competitively. The resource should also be invulnerable to the threat of substitution to sustain a competitive advantage (Thompson et al., 2012).
Can you think of any firms that have resources or capabilities that are hard to imitate?