Principles of Defensive Warfare

  • No. 1 Only the market leader should consider playing defense
  • No. 2 The best defensive strategy is the courage to attack yourself
  • No. 3 Strong competitive moves should always be blocked

Principles of Offensive Warfare

  • No. 1 The main consideration is the strength of the leader’s position
  • No. 2 Find a weakness in the leader’s strength and attack at that point
  • No. 3 Launch the attack on as narrow a front as possible

Principles of Flanking Warfare

  • No. 1 A good flanking move must be made into an uncontested area
    • You don’t drop your paratroops on top of the enemy’s machine-gun positions, and you don’t launch a flanking product into the teeth of an established product.
    • A flanking move does not necessarily require a new product unlike anything now on the market. But there must be some element of newness or exclusivity. The prospect must put you into a new category.
    • Traditional marketing theory might call this approach segmentation, the search for segments or niches.
    • To launch a true flanking attack, you must be the first to occupy the segment.
  • No. 2 Tactical surprise ought to be an important element of the plan
    • By its nature, a flanking attack is a surprise attack.
    • Base the strategy on what the enemy is able to do, not on what he is likely to do.
  • No. 3 The pursuit is just as critical as the attack itself
    • Reinforce success, abandon failure
    • Typical flanking moves: flanking with low price, flanking with high price, flanking with small size, flanking with large size, flanking with distribution, flanking with product form, flanking with lower calories, …
    • Keep the forces concentrated in an overpowering mass

Principles of guerilla warfare

  • No. 1 Find a segment of the market small enough to defend
  • No. 2 No matter how successful you become, never act like the leader
  • No. 3 Be prepared to bug out at a moment’s notice

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Based on the book Marketing Warfare, written by Al Ries and Jack Trout, a very exciting book on Marketing. I trully recommand it!