Expedient Consultants

KV's ChanakyaShaala┬« 

Attacking the Stronger Competitor

Should we highlight our competitor’s weaknesses to create better position for our Brand?
A few years back, a leading corporate house appointed me to review their Marketing strategy. There were three main brands in the product category in the desired Market segment. One was a national Brand, and other two were strong regional Brands. My client was one of the two strong regional Brands. The issue was that the other regional brand had recently highlighted shortcomings of the national brand in their campaign, and had gained a little edge. During discussion with the top management, the MD wanted me to design a similar campaign against the national Brand as they were in a better position to run such campaign as compared to their regional competitor.
Chanakya says that A King can make progress in a war by ruining the establishment of enemy, but after making sure that his own establishment will be well protected. My opinion was that my client should only concentrate on working at his own strength’s rather than highlighting shortcomings of the national brand. The reason was simple. During their SWOT analysis, I found many shortcomings in their own product which could be strongly highlighted by the National competitor in their counter campaign. My client agreed, and we designed a campaign highlighting their own strengths. After a few weeks the National Brand came out with a vicious campaign against the other regional Brand, and the campaign was so strong that it hit the other brand to an extent of many distributors returning their stocks. There was a payment crisis in that company. They couldn’t even afford to start a counter campaign. 
My client today is in a much better position than the other regional Brand. The learning is that we should only highlight our competitor’s or adversary’s weaknesses when we have the capacity to strongly answer any counter move by him. Otherwise, it will do us more harm than good. 
© Kujnish Vashisht, Expedient Consultants

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