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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Beating Goliath

Malcolm Gladwells latest article for the New Yorker is, like everything else that flows from his finger tips, a golden piece of literature. The incredibly successful author of The Tipping Point, Blink and Outliers recently jumped into the land of the underdog. His article uncovers a fascinating trend.

- Political scientist Ivan Arreguin-Toft has studied every war fought in the last 200 years that featured an overwhelming military favorite. As predicted, the favorites won in over 70% of the wars. But what makes his study worth mentioning, is that when the underdog embraced their weakness and chose unconventional strategies, they won. Convincingly. In fact, over 60% of the time, when the underdogs did what only the underdog could do, they won. This trend is not limiting just to the battle field, but is similarly found in sports, software engineering, and other games of strategy.

So what does this mean for you?

Well, there are two messages you can take home from this article.

1) If you are the little guy on the block, you can win. In fact, if you welcome the opportunities that being the underdog presents, odds are you will win. You just have to have more passion, more drive, and a stronger commitment than the big guy.

2) You must do things differently than the Goliath. This matters most to marketing. Goliath is known by everyone after they watch their first hour of T.V and spend a day reading billboards. You have to be creative with your media presence. Don’t fight Goliath by using T.V ads and radio placement, hit them quietly. Use local events, the internet, and the press as your key weapons in battle. Embrace viral and guerrilla marketing tactics. Allow your inner David to take charge and take down Goliath, one step at a time.

And if you get discouraged remember you don’t become a giant without spending time as the small guy first. McDonalds, Starbucks, and Blockbuster all started out as local Mom and Pop stores. Produce a quality product while using effective marketing and one day you’ll be fighting off challengers.

OutRight Communications is a marketing, design and PR firm that can skillfully craft your public image. Our team works together to ensure that your message is delivered to the public, whatever your message may be. We specialize in long term image crafting, publicity, web & graphic design, press releases & media interviews, author services & book publicity, media buys, and creative writing. Get in touch today to solve your media problems!

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