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How to Attack a Market Leader

Attacking a leader is always difficult. Some strategists recommend attacking a leader head-on by targeting its strengths. Other strategists disagree and recommend flanking and attempting to avoid the leader's strengths.

A market leader as defined here generally has the largest market share in the relevant product and market and usually leads the other firms in price changes, new product introductions, distribution coverage, and promotional intensity. Market leaders may also have products that generally hold a distinctive position in consumers' minds. These strengths and competitive advantages can be formidable when used by a savvy and seasoned firm. Trying to attack the leader on its strengths requires point-of-differences in brands, sophisticated marketing positioning, and "deep pockets" for the challenger.

Before you begin your analysis, think of your most recent purchases. Were you swayed in any way by the design or looks of the product, or were you simply focusing on the intended performance of the product?

Now think about those products whose performance is rated lower than their major competitors. What do they need to do to get their product in the hands of the target customer? Is it the glitz and glitter that can make a difference?

Cite and list all references.

Solution Preview

When I think of my most recent purchases, grocery items and gas for the car, I was simply focusing the intended performance of the product. Those products whose performance is rated lower than their major competitors have two options if they want to get their product in the hands of the target customer. Either they improve their performance substantially, or they reduce their prices significantly. Normally these products have to change their manufacturing process (1). The new process should either improve the quality of the products ...

Solution Summary

The answer to this problem explains performance vs glitz of products. The references related to the answer are also included.

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