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?