Sunday, February 8, 2015

Flanking Marketing

Have you heard about flanking marketing? If you are a new comer in business arena, you must read this entry until finish.

Flanking strategy


What is flanking marketing? Flanking marketing allows one company to displace a competitor in a peripheral market. Those companies that engage such strategies aim to capture a market segment that is not well served by the existing competition. As the flanking company moves in, other competitors must re-allocate their own resources to keep that targeted market, or end up ceding those customers to the flanking company.


OK that was the definition of flanking marketing that I found on the net. Even you don't have a company, you may still do the flanking marketing strategy. Here's my simple definition about flanking marketing. Flanking marketing is to search and study the weakness of your competitor to surpass or at least to be equal with it.

A few examples of flanking marketing for you to fully understand about it.

1. Mercedes-Benz began a flanking maneuver against General Motors back in the 1950s, targeting the prestige market (dominated by the Cadillac brand). They purposely priced their luxury cars much higher than Cadillac as part of their campaign to represent Mercedes as a superior car (“engineered like no other car in the world”).

Mercedes Benz SL Class

Cadillac XTS

It was a long-term strategy: after four decades, their yearly sales (about 73,000 cars) were still less than monthly sales for Chevrolet (one of GM’s core brands), so GM never made a move to decisively answer them. By 2004, Mercedes was outselling Cadillac; and Cadillac had long lost its reputation as being the prime example of a luxury car.


2. Google use it simplicity to flank a giant search engine Yahoo which is crowded with ads, news, images etc.

Google interface

Yahoo interface

Yahoo hiring human editors to categorize and describe each page. Instead of using text or human-beings, Larry Page the founder of Google use a piece of software that crawls the Internet looking for data which is known as "spider" parses the HTML and can create a database of links which is better in providing accurate information for people to search.


3. Myself - This is my own experience in doing the flanking strategy selling nasi lemak telur at the price of RM2.00 than typical normal RM1.50 nasi lemak. About 250 metres from us, there is a veteran makcik which is experienced in many years of selling nasi lemak for RM1.50. It's hard for me to sell nasi lemak RM2.00 at the beginning since the customer usually pay only RM1.50 for one packet of nasi lemak.

Overload kacang in one bungkus of nasi lemak

I've studied other's nasi lemak which is beatifully wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper. The contains inside it is coconut rice which is few to me with a half boiled egg size B/C to make it worse use D size, a slice of cucumber, a few groundnuts, anchovies and sambal. RM1.50 already murah but still there are someone selling nasi lemak wrapped in banana leaf and old newspaper for only RM1.20. It's very cheap but the contains in it also cheap; a very small piece of omelette egg, separuh bulat of cucumber, a few kacang, fish bilis dengan sambal.

To flank against that types of nasi lemak, instead of lowering the price I increase the price for more satisfaction to the customer. Me and my wife tackle the customer with the quantity and the quality of our nasi lemak with the option to choose one piece of fried egg or boiled egg gred A/AA for RM2.00 or fried marinated chicken for RM3.00. The customer can ask to add a little bit more groundnuts, anchovies and sambal for no extra charge (charges apply if the customer ask too much). Regardless the use of banana leaf to make it smell good, we still have our own regular customers.

In early to mid year of 2014, a group of teens are selling nasi lemak for only RM1.00! Their stall are about 150 metres from our roadside stall. Did I being flanked this time? No, since my target customer is for those who are able to pay more for more satisfaction of nasi lemak. Target customer is very important as I mention in "Cara Dapatkan Idea Kerja Sendiri". Just a couple of months, I never saw them again. Maybe they found a new job? I don't know.

Even my wife's sister is rooting for us to make this kind of nasi lemak at Sabah since there is no one selling nasi lemak like us over there. To make it worse, according to my sister-in-law some of them are selling nasi lemak with a slice of cucumber,  a quarter of egg (1/4 egg ???) and a bit of sambal without groundnuts and anchovies at RM1.50! That's a cekik darah punya business since anchovies are very cheap at Sabah.

She and her friends have experienced it and really want our kind of nasi lemak in Sabah. They don't care about nasi lemak wrapped pretty in banana leaf but they just want a good quantity of nasi lemak with one big size egg, a plenty of groundnuts, anchovies, cucumber and sambal.


Phewww, that's flanking marketing examples for you. I'm not the best nasi lemak seller out there. Of course there are better nasi lemak sellers out there than me but I just want to share my little success with you guys. Anyway, I assume you guys already faham about flanking marketing. Here's the fundamental in flanking marketing strategy for you to try.

Fundamentals of Flanking

  • avoid direct confrontation: make your move in an uncontested market segment
  • move quickly and stealthily; the goal is to gain a market presence before the competition is aware of your actions
  • attempt to move such that the competition does not regard you as a threat until it’s too late

Finally I just want to say to all of you including me must have faith to Allah that masing-masing ada rezeki untuk dia.

Reference
Types of Marketing - Flanking Marketing
The Rise of Google beating Yahoo at its own game

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