Strategy from Fifth century B.C. To Twentieth Century A.D.
Strategy of the First World War
Strategy of the Second World War
Fundamentals of Strategy and Grand Strategy
Strategy vs. Tactics
a Big Picture look at a problem that focuses upon the entire forest and not individual trees
A strategy is an idea… A conceptualization of how the goal could be achieved.
But let’s get off the battlefield and look at successful brands…
Goal: Increase Sales
Strategy: Devise new reasons for customers to buy the product
Tactics: TV advertising, magazine ads, infomercials, retail promotions, website,
Sun Tzu’s words can rghtly be called the basis of all progressive thinking on strategy.
Sun Tzu’s book, The Art of war, is the classic text on strategy and warfare.
It is widely circulated
For decades, however, Sun Tzu’s book was treated more as a historical curiosity than as a military guidebook.
Only the most enlightened generals, it seems, were interested in the military philosophizing of a general who commanded chariots.
The Art of War enjoyed a flowering of popularity in the 1980s when it was adopted by businessmen and stock traders who saw commerce as a model of warfare.
The problem, to paraphrase Jamie Lee Curtis from another film, “A Fish called Wanda,” is that while gorillas do read philosophy, they don’t understand it.
Sun Tzu’s brilliant 13 chapters are poetic, at times blunt, but more often than not, impenetrable to present-day readers.
The author clearly is making an important point– to win, you must use indirect tactics.
Liddell Hart arrived at a set of principles that he considered the basis of all good strategy.
He reduced this set of principles to a single phrase: the indirect approach; and to two fundamentals
The indirect approach
The strategy calls for armies to advance along the line of least expectation against the least resistance
direct attacks against an enemy firmly in position almost never work and should never be attempted
to defeat the enemy one must first upset his equilibrium, which is not accomplished by the main attack, but must be done before the main attack can succeed
So, what does it mean to have an indirect strategy?
In military terms, indirect strategy involves attacking an enemy on his flanks (sides) or rear – basically, where he doesn’t expect it.
As with military strategy, direct, frontal attacks against other companies in business rarely succeed. Unless your company is by far the largest in its business or has a strongly dominant sales channel, any direct attack against your competition is likely to fail.
Rather than competing on features or performance, change the ground rules. Compete on price, distribution model, ease-of-use, accessibility, partnerships, integration, switching cost or similar.
Employing indirect strategies doesn’t mean that you need to change your end goal. It simply means that you need to change the way you approach the battle to achieve it.
Be smart; attack at the intersection of where your competition is weak and customers perceive value. It’s not only about having a better product or service, it’s about the whole package – support, customer satisfaction, distribution, PR, everything.