Brilliant Manoeuvre

A business that is attacking an established competitor with a strong position is better to let the competition focus on existing customers and other competitors while exploiting a weakness or vulnerability in the current market coverage.


Once again, Apple provides the perfect instantiation of this principle. Back in 2007, Apple left the corporate and institutional markets to Research in Motion with its Blackberry device, focusing instead on the underserved consumer smart phone market. The same thing happened when Google was just starting out. Google used its search engine to serve the small advertisers market. Their needs were not adequately met by traditional communication media, such as newspapers, yellow pages, TV and radio. Google provided that capability. In both cases, Apple and Google, their new business models and products were so successful in the then underserved markets, that they have ‘doubled back’ and now provide these to the more traditional markets.


The best way to defeat an entrenched competitor is to find and bypass his main defences, exposing weaknesses and gaps in these, then exploiting them to go deep and threaten his entire competitive position.

© 2012 Richard Martin. Reproduction and quotes permitted with full and proper attribution.

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