“Always embarrass the Big Dog by turning his weight and size against him; then out-deliver him with product excellence and friendly service that he cannot hope to match.” 14 Big Dogs with deep pockets can generally win a war of attrition. Unless the Underdog can sell what the Big Dogs sell for less, he should not challenge the Big Dog to a price war; that simply puts the fight on the Big Dog’s terms. Even
the most persistent Underdogs know they cannot match the Big Dog’s bankrolls. So, to put
the odds in their favor, they keep backyard battles manageable. The Big Dog’s standardized
price structure provides a foundation based
upon which a service-savvy or quality-obsessed
Underdog Marketer can charge a premium.
The Underdog’s best effort will always outstrip
that of the Big Dog’s because the Big Dogs
are tied down by limitations and procedures
dictated by chain-wide red tape. Unlike the
Big Dogs, Underdogs are free to take their best
shot whenever it serves their interests.
Practice “corporate judo” when challenging
a leader. Underdogs think smart (and get the
most for their buck) by out-maneuvering the
Big Dogs in every way they can, from promotional events to the purchase of product lines.
If the Big Dog offers a coupon for $1, the
Underdog Marketer should make his coupon
worth $2. If the Big Dog offers free dessert for
birthdays, the Underdog should offer a free
cheese pizza. Always embarrass the Big Dog by
turning his weight and size against him; then
out-deliver him with product excellence and
friendly service that he cannot hope to match.
16An Underdog counteroffensive is doubly offensive to Big Dogs. Big Dogs don’t want o become increasingly involved with the Underdog’s counteroffensive tactics, but hese tactics will win the Underdog many
allies. The public loves a good fight. Brand
yourself effectively as the Underdog, and
the public—as well as the media—will be
more likely to take your side. Everyone
loves the Underdog!
Underdog Marketers make innovation,
service, pricing or quality their strongest
attribute. Once the Underdogs make their
choices, they stake their reputations on it.
They never pass up the opportunity to tell
the public why they are the very best pizza
makers in the area.
Getting your share of stomach means elevating products and service over the Big Dogs.
Underdogs know what they’re best at: quality of food, service and know-how. They get
on top because Big Dogs tend to sleep a lot,
miss much and haven’t yet figured out how to
motivate their staff to match the loyalty the
Underdog commands among his employees.
It’s the point upon which a battle often turns.
With a full-service bar and large selection of craft-brewed
beers, Blue Moon Pizza in Atlanta turns locals who come for
a cocktail or two into regulars who are hooked on the pizza.
AM Y HUNSINGER