10 Strategies to Topple the Goliath in Your Industry
Everyone thought Eric Ryan and Adam Lowry were crazy to start Method, a new cleaning products company. The category had long been dominated by P&G, Unilever, and Colgate-Palmolive. Those giants had so much clout with the retail chains that their soaps had barely needed updating for decades. But by taking advantage of its underdog position, Method carved out a very profitable niche: environmentally sound products in stylish, innovative packaging. Despite having a far smaller marketing budget than their competitors, Method connected with a substantial minority of people who wanted to "buy green" but who also wanted high-quality products.
Marketing expert Stephen Denny argues that, like Method, any brand can directly challenge the giant of its category and not only survive, but thrive. While it's inconvenient to be the little guy, it can also be a blessing in disguise. Giant- killers can afford to shake things up and take bold steps. They can be faster and nimbler than giants who are too slow and hidebound to make the painful but necessary changes to stay competitive. By the time they notice that slingshot, they're already keeling over.
During his two decades in the trenches, Denny has taken on quite a few giants. And he has interviewed more than seventy other giant-killers across industries- from software to cosmetics to aviation-for their most powerful techniques.
Our need to work smarter, with fewer resources, isn't dependent on the state of the economy or on any sense of stability you think you have in your industry. Denny's ten powerful strategies will help you overcome stale business thinking and bureaucracy. They include:
?Win in the last three feet. Leverage someone else's investment-just be there the moment the customer grabs their wallet.
?Create "thin ice" arguments. Shift the conversation to places where the competition can't-or won't-go.
?Fight unfairly. Learn how the underdog can turn the tables.
From the hypercompetitive world of social media to high-stakes business-to- business sales to the trenches of retail, Killing Giants is The Art of War for a new era. It proves that size does matter-the size of the fight in the dog.
- Penguin Publishing Group, March 2011
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