Offensive & Defensive
Primary Purpose is to make possible attacks unattractive or
It is a developed to protect market share, position and profitability.
It is a strategy that can be used to keep up top position in local and
This strategy is most successful to keep up the customer’s
confidence which no new competitor can disturb.
1. Position Defense
The position defense is the simplest defensive strategy.
It simply involves trying to hold your current position in the market.
To do this, you simply continue to invest in your current markets and
attempt to build your brand name and customer loyalty.
Only negative aspect of this strategy is that it can make you a
target for new entrants to the market.
Example – Rin soap by HUL
2. Mobile Defense
Making constant changes in the business.
Involves new product introduction, entering new market or simply
making changes in existing products.
Business must be flexible enough to adapt new environment.
Example - ITC
3. Flanking Defense
Defending the market share by entering new market and
If you lose your market share in the existing market you can make
up for it in these new markets.
Negative aspect is that there are chances of losing main focus.
Example – FOGG deodorants
4. Counter-Offensive Defense
The counter-offensive defense is a retaliatory strategy
When a competitor attacks your business, you strike back with your
5. Contraction Defense
Least desirable defense because it involves retreating from markets.
This allows you to redeploy your resources into other areas.
Example – TATA selling its soap making company to Unilever
Why Defensive Strategies?
Retention of market share
Raising the barriers of entry
Long term contracts
Improving own position by taking away market share of
Involves direct & indirect attacks
Retaliatory in nature.
Example – Samsung vs. Apple
1. Frontal Attack
Attacking a competitor head-on
Attacking with similar products, price, quality, promotion &
Highly risky unless attacker has a clear advantage
Focused on competitors strength rather than weakness
2. Flank Attack
Attacking the competitor at the weak point or blind spot
Less risky when compared with frontal attack
Follows the path of least resistance where competitor is incapable
Example – Titan on HMT
3. Encirclement Attack
Combination of frontal & flank attack.
Attacker must have superior resources.
Surrounding with various brands so as to make competitor difficult to
Defender’s attention gets spread across various products making him
harder to defend
Example – Maruti Suzuki
4. Bypass Attack
Also called leapfrog strategy
Overtake the competitors by introducing new technologies
Diversifying the products
Example - PepsiCo
5. Guerilla Attack
Small hit-and-run attacks to destabilize the competitor
Attacks take several forms
Example – Pepsi vs. Coca Cola
Why Offensive Strategies?
Destabilize the leader
Acquire market share
Leapfrog the competitor
“Do not assume the enemy will not come
but be prepared for his coming…
Do not presume he will not attack,
but instead make your own position unassailable.”