Using Crisis to Create an "Impossible" Competitive Advantage
How companies can turn the "headwinds" of today's economic crisis to their own advantage
Frankfurt, Germany - How to benefit from a crisis is the subject of a new book from international business consultants Andreas Buchholz, Wolfram Wördemann and Ned Wiley entitled "The Impossible Advantage - Winning the Competitive Game by Changing the Rules" which has just been published by John Wiley&Sons on January 16.
"Uncertain or critical market conditions offer the best opportunities to uproot conventional rules of the game and to transform prevailing power relationships," the authors argue. In turbulent market environments customers tend to "speed-change" their attitudes, values, and preferences in a dramatic fashion: they abandon established purchase and behaviour patterns in a way unthinkable during good and stable years. This can create unique chances for those players who act quickly to acquire a previously "impossible" competitive advantage".
During the current US mega-SUV crisis, for instance, Japanese manufacturers like Toyota and Honda exploited the sector's collapse to overthrow the hegemony of US manufacturers and vault their more economic "wannabe" SUV - ennobled and celebrated as the new Crossover generation - to "impossible" heights. "Crises can turn hopeless losers into lasting winners", the authors say. Now would be an ideal time for managers and entrepreneurs to go back to the drawing board and determine how to create an "impossible" competitive advantage for their own business.
The authors distinguish four "Game Changing'" strategies that any company can employ during a crisis or recession to dethrone market leaders and achieve a breakthrough competitive edge. Even small or medium-sized firms are able to take control of their markets and to force larger competitors to play the Game by totally new rules.
The new and remarkable aspect of these "Game Changing" strategies during periods of crisis is that companies do not necessarily need a spectacular product innovation, huge budgets or the power of a multinational concern to take control in the marketplace, dethrone longstanding market leaders and transform prevailing power relationships.
The authors Buchholz, Wördemann and Wiley earned their marketing spurs at Procter & Gamble. Today, Buchholz and Wördemann are international business consultants serving a large range of international 'blue chip' corporations. Wiley is Managing Director of a division of Axel Springer, one of the world's largest media companies.
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