It doesn’t matter whatever your field of business is, there would always be competitors. A very few companies have the advantage of monopoly. As a business person and a marketer, your plan is always to have a competitive advantage. Today, we’ll discuss offensive strategy, its types, and example.
What is Offensive Strategy?
An offensive strategy is when a business takes certain steps against the market leader to get competitive in order to secure its market position.
Businesses and companies gain competitive advantages by differentiating their product, offering it at a lower price, or having a resource advantage. The thing to keep in mind while following the offensive strategy is that the competitors shouldn’t counter it.
Some of the famous offensive strategies are that you reduce the price to a great extent, creative and catchy design to attract the attention, and a great marketing and advertising campaign.
An effective offensive strategy provides you a competitive edge for a long time. Strickland and Thompson have divided the competitive edge time into three categories;
- Build-up Period
- Benefit Period
- Erosion Period
The build-up period can be short and long depending upon the availability of resources. If resources are readily available, then it’ll be short. Otherwise, it would be longer.
The benefit period is a time when a business enjoys the benefits of the competition. It could be short or long depending upon your creative offer.
The erosion period is when the competitor has found a way to counter your offer. It means the end of your competitive edge.
Offensive Strategy Vs Defensive Strategy
Businesses and companies use offensive strategy to earn a competitive advantage by providing some counter offer.
On the other hand, the purpose of defensive strategy is to retain and protect the competitive advantage in the market i.e., from the competitors. It means that you protect your market share to keep your customer loyalty and profits stable.
How Does Offensive Strategy Works?
Businesses can use offensive and defensive strategies all the time. For instance, a publishing company makes some tech and distribution changes. An offensive strategy would require the company to diversify its resources into attractive markets, investing more resources, and acquiring a patent for distributing the technology.
On the other hand, the defensive strategy would require you to wait for the right moment when the readership falls, and then applying the popular and cheap technology.
Why Does Offensive Strategy Matters?
An offensive strategy makes the company a trendsetter rather than a follower. Only those firms would follow the offensive strategy if they’re innovative and have separately allocated the research & development budget.
When firms are following the offensive strategy, they acquire other businesses for eliminating the competitors. The disadvantage and flaw of offensive strategy are that it’s very costly.
Types of Offensive Strategies with Examples
Some of the main types of offensive strategy are as follows;
A frontal attack is when you attack the competitor face to face by offering the same product, price, and quality. It’s a very risky strategy and the attacker should only do it if he has a competitive advantage.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi both are the market leader in the soft drink beverage industry. They both have got capital and resource. They’ve got a long history of frontal attacks. When Coca Cola launched diet coke, then Pepsi offered diet Pepsi.
A flank attack is when a challenging company attacks the blind and weak points of the competitor. Companies do it to secure their market leadership position.
LG attacked the other colored TV manufacturers in the rural market of India. That’s how LG became the first brand in India to target the rural market. LG found out that the village market isn’t only price-conscious, but they’re also quality-conscious. They’re willing to pay more for a product if it fixes their problems.
Enrichment attack is when you attack the competitor based on its strengths and weaknesses and don’t leave any margin of error.
E-commerce platforms usually follow the enrichment attack and they attack all the strengths and weaknesses of the competitor platform. They want to win the market share and beat the competitor.
A bypass attack is when the smart company attacks the competitor through innovation. When a challenging company launches an innovative product, then it creates a separate segment. Other companies would soon copy your innovation, but the impact of the attack would last for a long time.
Masaru Ibuka, the co-founder of Sony, used to listen to music during his business tours. He didn’t like the big cassette deck TC-D5. One day he requested his developer to design a smaller recorder and cassette player. Then he developed “walkman.” The price of the “walkman” device hit 150 dollars on July 01, 1979.
First, Sony gave the name to the device “Soundabout” and then changed it to “walkman” later. The walkman became so successful that the company sold 400 million devices. Today, many people listen to music with headphones on their smartphones. It’s the transformation of the walkman.
Guerrilla marketing is when a company makes useful small changes. The repeated changes make a huge impact on the market. A new small business first achieves popularity, then it should provide trade and price discounts.
McDonald’s painted the zebra crossing lines as yellow to symbolize French fries along with the brand image like a package. The zebra lines or the French fries are coming out of the package.
What Makes Offensive Strategy Successful
A successful offensive strategy must keep in mind the following steps;
- A company must achieve the product acceptance of customers in a very short time. It should be new and reasonably innovative.
- You should reduce the competition by launching a counter offer.
- You must have all the required resources for the production of the counteroffer.
- You should have a contingency plan in order to protect your position.
If the benefit period doesn’t last long, it means that the competitors may come up with a counteroffer at any time. They may copy your innovative differentiating product. The offensive strategy would only work if your business has strong resources and competencies.
The experienced companies target the weaknesses of their competitors. Like the unhappy customers, outdated technology, customer service and other product line issues help you to gain a competitive edge.
The new businesses and ambitious companies follow the offensive strategy to get some advantage in the market and strengthen their position