If You’re Not the Market Leader, What Can You Do to Win?

The Way of the Warrior in Business

From The Way of the Warrior in Business by Donald Wayne Hendon

What can a follower do to beat the Big Dog? First, try these tactics:

  • Never use a me-too approach. Find a unique position to fill, such as:
    • By attributes (Crest is a cavity fighter)
    • By price/quality (Wal-Mart is a value store)
    • By competitor (Avis tries harder)
    • By application (Gatorade is for quick, healthful energy after exercise and other forms of physical exertion)
    • By product user (Miller is for blue-collar, heavy beer drinkers)
    • By product class (Carnation Instant Breakfast is a breakfast food)
  • Create a better brand name. When Allegheny Airlines changed its name to USAir, people no longer regarded it as small and regional. But when Singer put its name on business machines, it lost $371 million because customers didn’t transfer its brand name recognition to a different product sold to a different market.
  • Launch your attack before the leader has time to establish leadership — if it’s possible.
  • Use a massive advertising and promotion campaign. Try for that three-to-one advantage.
  • Do extensive market research to find the features your prospects want in your brand, and put as many of them as you can in your brand. Of course, it’s not enough to just make a better product, which makes you focus on your features; you also have to focus on the benefits your prospects want.
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