Challenge the big guy!

on Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Like many around the world I tuned in to see David Haye take on the giant, Nikolai Valuev. Haye was speedy, stuck to his tactics and placed his shots. Valuev did little or nothing, slow to react, threw the odd punch and ultimately hoped his sheer size would win the fight for him.

Now, I will be honest, I was surprised Haye won. He didn't really land many punches apart from one big one in the final round but he did something Valuev didn't do. He showed heart, confidence and dared to stand toe to toe with the big man.

It made me think about the market place that many brands operate in. They won't compete head on with the big market leader, the sheer dominance and size of the leader brand scares them, after all one blow could, in a sense could knock them out. So, instead they follow the leader brands footsteps and do little or nothing to take its customers.

What they should do instead is exploit the leader brands weaknesses. Be nimble and take risks. Larger corporations are slower to react to trends, less likely to take risks and in many markets will coast along as they don't think anyone call challenge their dominance. A great example is Virgin.Virgin Atlantic had less than a fifth of BA's marketing budget but, thanks to its aggressive and provocative advertising - as well as Sir Richard Branson's fondness for PR stunts - the challenger airline now has a high profile.

So, take one out of David Haye's book. Take on the big guys, they aren't as scary as they look. Even how hairy they are!