Defensive Strategy

Confusion as a Defensive Strategy

19 Jul 2019  

Sometimes the best way to protect your brand is to confuse people. An Illinois Election A recent election in Illinois provides a good example of the confusion strategy. In 2016, Michael Madigan, a powerful state politician, faced a primary challenge from Jason Gonzales in a district that is 73% Hispanic. Madigan, concerned about the threat, arranged for […]

Defensive Strategy

IAG’s Brilliant Defense

13 Apr 2018  

When it comes to building a strong, enduring business, it is impossible to over-emphasize defensive strategy. You have to protect your business. Airline giant IAG’s move to acquire Norwegian is a perfect example of defensive strategy at work. Defensive Strategy One of the few certainties in the world is that if you have a strong, […]

Defensive Strategy, Super Bowl

The Super Bowl Detergent Battle

3 Feb 2017  

On Sunday, the Patriots and Falcons will take to the field in Super Bowl LI. Each team will be looking to pick up yardage and put points on the board in hope of emerging the victor. It should be a terrific battle. The football game isn’t the only competition we will see. This year’s Super […]

Defensive Strategy

AB InBev Fights Back

8 Dec 2015  

Great companies defend their turf. When a new entrant shows up, they respond to the threat. They innovate and invest to hold their market share. This is what firms should do. You can’t relax and watch as your market share falls year after year. With each customer loss, the business weakens. Profits may hold up […]

Defensive Strategy

A Branding Problem for ISIS Pharmaceuticals

17 Nov 2015  

Yesterday, ISIS Pharmaceuticals announced that it was considering changing its name in light of the attack on Paris. Wade Walke, vice-president for corporate communications, told CNNMoney, “Even though people know we’re not associated with the terrorist group, the name itself has so many negative connotations. It’s obviously not getting better over time.” My reaction: what […]

Defensive Strategy

Pharmaceutical Pricing, Markets and Ebola

17 Oct 2014  

People love to attack pharmaceutical companies for setting high prices. Dr. Sharon Levine, for example, an executive from Kaiser, recently criticized the $84,000 price of Solvadi, Gilead’s new hepatitis C drug, noting, “It’s an outrageous price.” The problem is that the reason firms invest in developing new drugs is that there is an opportunity to set a […]

Defensive Strategy

Defending Air France

30 Sep 2014  

Air France, one of the world’s great airlines, is under attack. The recent two-week pilot strike was a financial and customer service disaster. The bigger problem is that Air France appears to be unable to defend its business; new competitors are stealing customers at an alarming pace. The financial results for Air France – KLM […]

Brands in the News, Defensive Strategy

Apple’s Competitive Challenge

15 Sep 2014   Video

Last week Apple rolled out a trio of new product platforms: iPhones with larger screens, a watch and a payment system. The new phones are not dramatic innovations; they build on existing technology and will help Apple keep pace with competitive offerings. The watch and payment systems are bigger innovations. They are both trying to change the rules. […]

Defensive Strategy

Physicians, Insurance Companies and Incentives

27 May 2014  

Incentives motivate everyone. When someone rewards us for something, we tend to do more of it. Carrots really work. Insurance giant WellPoint is taking the idea to heart. According to an article in today’s Wall Street Journal, the company will soon start offering oncologists $350 a month for every patient on one of the insurer’s recommended […]

Defensive Strategy

The Great Breakfast Battle

4 Apr 2014  

Every once in a while you see two strong brands crash into each other in a desperate struggle for market share and customer loyalty. These Great Competitive Battles are always fascinating to watch and you can usually get some pretty good deals as the fight goes on. In the United States, April will feature a GCB between […]

Defensive Strategy

The Remarkable Chobani – Whole Foods Fight

19 Dec 2013  

You don’t see manufacturers and retailers attack each other very often. Everyone has an interest in keeping disputes hidden from view. Today, Chobani and Whole Foods are fighting a nasty battle. Here is the story. Whole Foods announced yesterday that it was kicking Chobani out of its stores. The reason, according to an article in the […]

Defensive Strategy

Reality Comes to U.S. Colleges

22 Nov 2013  

One of the reasons I find it challenging to teach marketing strategy is that the theories don’t always seem to work in real life. I teach that companies need to build profits, for example, but Amazon contradicts the point. Snapchat doesn’t even have revenue to speak of and is apparently worth billions. I tell students that […]