The particular set of strengths, experience, knowledge and abilities that differentiate a company from its competitors and provide competitive advantage. Employees should possess these qualities in order to advance business goals.
A company's people, physical assets, patents, brand equity and capital are all constitutive of a company's core competencies. These should be difficult for any other company to imitate or replicate. Essentially they are the key qualities of a business that 1) provide consumer benefits, 2) facilitate market differentiation & 3) can be leveraged widely to many products and markets.
By exploiting your various competitive advantages, core competencies are what make it difficult for other companies to match your product and then outperform the competition. This is especially important for being competitive long-term, if your product can easily be replicated then eventually you will lose your market domination.