This volume discusses strategies for the strong, that is the market leader. Companies that are in a strong positon should read it, of course, but so should their weaker rivals, somthey’ll know what sort of strategies the strong might be using. You need to be able to “read” your rivals. When the weak know how the strong are operating, they can develop powerful strategies.
By the strong, I mean market leaders, but there is more than one type of market leader. There are market leaders that are ahead of their nearest competitors by a factor of 1.732 [square root of 3 – Ed], and then there are companies without such a huge lead. Number-one companies tend to concentrate on defense, but they may fail to sense an oncoming crisis. They may become overconfident, and rest on their laurels. many of them want merely to stay on the safe side.
Someone once said that defense is three times as much work as offense, he was correct. When a top-ranking company lets its guard down, its market share is bound to drop. Remember that defending your position is a matter of winning a succesion of battles. You have to keep winning. Also, when a strong company, regardless of its strength, has not yet become number one, it must go on the offensive to capture that position.
This volume, like its predecessor, Volume 2, Strategy of the Weak, consists of six chapters.
Chapter 1 discusses the matching operation. This means following, or imitating your rival, and is the strategy to use to counteract the differentiation strategy of the weak. The matching operation is an important strategy not only for the strong, but also for the weak to use against their lower-ranking rivals.
Chapter 2 discusses wide-area battles. When your company wages a wide-area battle, you are competing in an area without oundaries. This strategy is intended to offset the local-battle strategy of the weak.
Chapter 3 deals with stochastic battles. In a stochastic battle, you force your enemies, or even your allies, to battle against each other. This is a strategy to use to counteract the single-combat strategy used by the weak.
Chapter 4 is concerned with remote battles. Remote battles are used against close combat, a strategy of the weak. They involve the following two strategies:
1. Using wholesalers to the best possible advantage, and
2. bolstering advertising and publicity campaigns.
Chapter 5 discusses comprehensive battles. These battles take advantage of the comprehensive strength of the strong, and serve to counteract the one-point concentration strategy used by the weak.
Chapter 6 deals with inducement operations. This strategy is used against feint operations launched by the weak. It is a means of forestalling weaker rivals by preventing them from using the differentiation or one-point concentration strategies.
This volume completes the three-volume introduction to Lanchester Strategy. It features Shinsaku Sakamoto of Company W. It is the story of the battle between Company W and its rival, Company B. Manufacturers, retaileres, and representatives of the service sector also appear in the drama.
I believe that in this volume, as in its predecessor, Volume 2, the expert hand of our cartoonist, Kenichi Sato, is even more in evidence than in the previous two volumes. We hope our readers will forgive any infelicities that may have arisen due to time constraints.
Each story is based on events that have actually occurred, but because of the format, we have had to show rises in market share and reversals in a way that seem less complecated than they actually were.
Shinichi Yano, Tokyo, April 1986.
Copyright (c) Lanchester Press, 1996. All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part by any means.