There are many strategies available when it comes to increasing the growth of your business by attacking the competitor. The attacking strategies tell you the best way to approach your competitors and take away their market share. Today, we’ll discuss what is flanking attack strategy is in detail with examples.
What is Flanking Attack Strategy?
The flanking attack strategy allows you to target the weak areas of your competitors in order to kick them out of the market and win their market share. Its name is synonymous with the military strategy where you attack the enemy from all sides based on the consideration that the enemy would be stronger at the front.
According to the business perspective, the flanking strategy targets a particular geographical market, customer segment, and product where the competitor is weak. It’s because it’s difficult for the competitor to invest in that area, haven’t focused it on yet, or planning to leave the market. Some of the main subjects of the flanking strategy are as follows;
- Aftercare or customer support
- Convenience and availability to the customer
- Product/service feature
- Price point
The idea behind flanking attack strategy is that the big companies offer various product/service lines, and they aren’t successful in all of them. The challenging company targets the weaker segment of the competitor that is not performing well.
As I said earlier, the flanking attack is either segmental and geographic, or strategic dimension. When we talk about the geographic attack, then the attacking company finds such market segments where the established hasn’t been satisfying the needs of customers.
Key Features of Flanking Attack Marketing Strategy
Some of the main features of the flanking attack strategy are as follows;
- It works best for the differentiated product in the market, instead of the new products
- The interesting thing about flanking attack marketing strategy is that the challenger wins the market share and gets access to the bigger market, just right under the nose competitor company and it won’t even notice it.
- Flanking attack market strategy is not a face-to-face confrontation between the challenger and the competitor
How to Develop a flanking Attack Strategy
First of all, you start analyzing the customer reviews of your competitors; it would offer you a deep insight and point out the weaknesses of your competitors. You should pay heed to the service complaints of customers and what type of issues they’re facing.
After conducting the customer review analysis, you should launch the attack on the competitor with your superior and better service offer. If customers aren’t happy with the features of the competitor’s product, you should provide them with an alternative product with the features of their choice and wishes. However, if customers aren’t happy with the high price, then you should offer a low price product.
You should study the geographical and territorial spread of the competitor market, and pinpoint those territories that aren’t performing well and the competitor isn’t focusing on them. You can do so by studying the financial record of the competitor, it would give you an idea. When you target the weak areas of the competitor, then this is your flanking attack strategy.
Some of the tools that would be beneficial in developing the flanking attacking strategy are as follows;
- Swot Analysis
- Four Corner Analysis
- BCG Matrix
- Value Disciplines Model
Types of Flank Strategies
Low Price Flanking
As the name implies, here the challenging company lowers the price of its product/service than the competitors. Such a drastic fall in prices makes it difficult for the competitor to sell its products in the market when you’re providing the same products at a lower price. For instance, the Day Inns defeats the Holiday Inns with the low price flanking strategy in the US market and wins the market share and profitability.
High Price Flanking
A high price flanking strategy means that the challenging company sets a higher price of the product in order to attract the attention of the status quo customer market. For instance, the high price of hot helped the company increase its profitability. The high price flanking opportunity came up when the company was modifying the life cycle of the product.
High price flanking is better because of two main reasons. First, a higher price means that the company would have more resources to improve the quality and add more features to it. Secondly, it allows the company to amplify its profitability.
When a challenging company develops a new distribution channel to approach customers, then it’s distribution flanking. The departmental retail stores used to sell watches, and Titan launched a new distribution channel for the sale of watches.
Flank with Size
We should appreciate the visionary mindset of Steve Jobs, he developed a small product “iPod” by assembling an integrated circuit and customers loved it. Some of the other main examples of Flanking with Size are the big cars of GM and Beetle of Volkswagen.
Advantages of Flank Attack Strategy
Some of the main Benefits of flank attack strategy are as follows;
The strategy revolves around targeting only one element and segment of the competitor. In order to do so, you have to be highly focused. However, when the challenger puts all of its efforts and energies targeting only one point, then it increases your chances of success.
Difficult to defend
It’s very difficult for the competitor’s firm to defend and defeat the flank strategy because it’s not laser-focused as your company is while attacking the competitor. The important point to notice here is that the challenger only targets the weak areas of the competitive firm. However, it means that the weak segment wasn’t the priority of the competitor and it was earning money from various other sources. When you target the weak point, then they won’t waste their resources defending it.
A flank strategy is not such a strategy that a company follows it for the first time. In fact, it is a successfully proven strategy that companies have been following for many years. The companies that followed this strategy have succeeded in it.
The cost of implementing a flank strategy is very low compared to other attacking strategies. It’s because you’re focusing on only one segment of the competitor’s product/service line. You won’t have to spend a lot of resources on it rather than targeting different areas at once.
Small Companies Targeting Big
It offers small companies an opportunity to compete against the big corporation, and succeed in their attack through this strategy. The attacking company focuses only on the neglected segment of the market and earns a small market share from it.
Disadvantages of Flank Attack Strategy
- The growth in the small and weaker segment of the market is low
- If your attack is slow, then the opportunity would go away
- You have to conduct an in-depth right analysis before the attack
Examples of Flanking Attack Strategy
LG focused on the rural areas of the Indian market and launched a particular color TV “Sampoorna,” and it allowed the company to kick out other competitors from the market.
It followed the product innovation and differentiation flank strategy by offering the first liquid in the market. The companies followed this strategy, they succeed in it.
Instagram targeted only one segment of the world’s leading social media platform, Facebook, and achieved success in it. The weak area was photo sharing, and Instagram offered more features and earned the reputation only in picture sharing.