Play Hardball with the Competition

How to position your company to consistently dominate its markets? Play hardball -- shifting your competitive position, consolidating gains, and preparing your next attack. Here's one hardball strategy: Identify your and your rivals' profit sanctuaries -- business areas generating the most wealth. Protect your profit sanctuaries, while striking at rivals'.

For example, when competing vacuum cleaner manufacturer SweepCo attacked VacuCorp's fattest profit sanctuary by lowballing products to its national retail accounts, VacuCorp retaliated. It began selling a low-cost version of SweepCo's cash cow--its canister model. Whenever SweepCo tried lowballing a VacuCorp major account, VacuCorp pursued a major SweepCo account with its cheap canister. SweepCo got the message--and backed off.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  October 15, 2008; 8:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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