You may have heard about Attack Strategies and the approaches to taking on a competitor in order to win market share. Well, what if you become the victim of such an attack? Fear not, there are as many defense strategies as there are attack strategies! So, if you find yourself coming under attack by a particular strategy, you can reach for it's counterpart defense strategy and fight off their advances.
In this article we explore one such strategy called the Flanking Defense Strategy, which as the name suggests, is the counterpart to the Flanking Attack Strategy.
Let’s take a look in more detail…
What is a Flanking Defense Strategy?
A Flanking Defense Strategy is where a company strengthens the weakest areas of their business that are susceptible to attack. This form of defense strategy is most effective when deployed prior to any attacks. So this is about proactively identifying the areas of your business that could be attacked successfully and closing down those gaps or vulnerabilities.
What are example weak points improved in a Flanking Defense Strategy?
There might be a number of weak points identified by your analysis. They could include:
- A geographic area
- A particular sector or industry
- A type of product or product line
- A customer demographic or persona
- A departmental KPI such as employee retention
How do you execute a Flanking Defense Strategy?
A Flanking Defense Strategy is all about removing your weak spots, so this tends to go hand in hand with conducting a SWOT Analysis. This will help you identify your Weaknesses and Threats and gives you the insight need to develop a Strategic Objective around these areas.
What are the advantages of a Flanking Defense Strategy?
The advantages of the Flanking Defense Strategy are:
- An overall stronger company is created from implementing this strategy due to the focus on the existing weaknesses
- It reduces the chance of a Flanking Attack being implemented by a competitor
- It can improve and develop markets due to the increased investment
What are the disadvantages of a Flanking Defense Strategy?
Disadvantages of this strategy include:
- The stronger areas of the company may suffer due to resource going into the weaker areas
- There may be better alternatives such as strategic withdrawl
- It’s less effective when deployed as a defense after an attack
What are the alternatives to a Flanking Defense Strategy?
Pre-emptive Defense Strategy
A Pre-emptive Defense Strategy is where a company attacks a competitor before the competitor launches an attack.
In this strategy the defending company fights back at an attacker only when they have been attacked themselves, unlike Pre-emptive Defense Strategy where they make the first move.
Mobile Defense Strategies are all about constantly moving your strategic position to make it hard for attackers to be able to attack you effectively.
A Position Defense Strategy is about maintaining your brand positioning within the marketplace, making it difficult for competitors to dislodge you from the customers' minds.
The final option is around existing from the market. It may be the best approach to take, allowing you to invest your resources and time elsewhere. This is often a serious consideration as an alternative to a Flanking Defense Strategy.
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