November 16, 2008

What it takes to be a giant killer? Well, this could be one of the greatest riddles of marketing. The goal, nevertheless a tough one, is mostly achieved on simple truths and commonsense.

First, you must have a good product or service to start with. Without this, you are on crutches.

Second, be very clear that you are not going for a full frontal war with a giant. You would, in all likelihood, be overwhelmed by the giant in a frontal war.

Third, identify the weak spots of the giant. There are always a few weakest links, though hidden by the sheer powerful appearance and invincibility of the giant. These could be consumer segments, customer service, geographical market segments, trade relationships, and many more.

Fourth, concentrate your resources at the weakest links with the clear intention to overpower the giant in these areas. While on mission to wreak havoc on weakest links, try to outnumber your resources by 3:1 or more. The weakest links have to hammered down in one go in a swift action before the giant has time to salvage the situation. This is a critical path to giant killing.

Fifth, after having successfully invaded the weakest links, try to find out small but profitable customer or market segments which are too small for a giant's attention. Building on a few such segments could add some strength in the fight with the giant.

Sixth, maintain movement with swift action. When you are successfully profiting from ignored smaller customer or market segments, the giant is bound to notice your actions and may feel like joining you for some action. So you have to keep moving from one ignored segment to another till the time you can keep finding them. This way the giant has too many open fronts on smaller customer or market segments which are insignificant for it leading to diffused focus.

Seventh, after gaining some ground in your battle with the giant, start becoming disruptive. Do something with your product, service, or strategy that the consumer's eye balls pop out. Disruptive offerings or strategy often surprises the giant and gives you the attention of consumers.

Eighth, constantly surprise the giant. Do the unexpected. Get the giant in a reactionary mode. It's like dictating the giant what to do next. Let it play your game with your rules rather than the other way round.

Ninth, with all your actions try to confuse the giant. The more you confuse it, the more it scratches its head, the better it is for you. Too much confusion often leads to lunatic actions. In this case, it would result in concentration of focus on too many arenas of insignificance and complete diffusion of focus in its areas of strengths and vital customer and market segments.

Tenth, with the giant in a state of lunacy, slowly start eating into its main customer and market segments much like termites. With some luck and consistency, over a period of time the giant tree with huge branches may become a small heap of mud hill.

Sounds simple, isn't it? In reality, it is one of the toughest plans to execute and requires courage, consistency, guts, tenancy, out-of-the-box thinking, a great team, and an inspiring leadership to stand on the dead body of a giant.