Throw Your Competitors a Curveball

How to get keep competitors off your scent? Throw them a curveball -- a clever move that gets them looking the other way while you capture customers' wallets.

Letting rivals misinterpret the sources of your success is one curveball strategy. For example, rivals of Australian discount airliner Jetstar didn't recognize that it was aggressive asset utilization (not just cost control) that put Jetstar in the lead. Fast turnaround times at the gate kept its planes, pilots, and crew in the air for more hours each month than traditional rivals. Extreme asset efficiency enabled Jetstar to improve profitability through volume gains -- and keep competitors at bay.

Today's Management Tip of the Day was adapted from the HBR article, "Curveball: Strategies to Fool the Competition," by George Stalk, Jr.

By Editors  |  August 12, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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