Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders (Adweek Book) Hardcover – 12 Feb 1999
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The title of this book comes from an advert from Avis, the car rental firm, published at a time of planned growth. It positioned Avis as a small fish being chased by a bigger one--a bigger car hire firm. They had to stay ahead or be swallowed. Morgan calls Avis and others like them "Challenger Brands" or second-raters, and he examines 40 of them in this book. His aim is to identify their common marketing strands as they find themselves in an increasingly vulnerable position. By using the lessons revealed in the book, second-raters can develop strategies to consolidate and, if they want to (they don't always), compete with the leaders. The book is divided into three sections. The relatively short opening one outlines the challenges facing the second-raters, but the real meat is in the much larger section two where Morgan lays out his Eight Credos of Challenger Brands, their key marketing features. The third and final section, again short, is very practical. It shows how any company can use the Eight Credos as part of a two day practical exercise to start improving their own market position. With wide ranging examples from both the US and Europe, Morgan stresses time and again that you can learn from those outside your own market as well as those within it. He makes his points very well indeed, revealing that second-raters will have to operate very differently from market leaders if they are to survive. --Sandra Vogel
: "Although out last year, Eating the Big Fish, is one of the most stimulating books on brands and has grown to become a must read." (Marketing Business – Year′s Best Books, January 2001)
"...full of such useful ideas that a whole generation of marketing folk bang on about [it]" (Campaign, Friday 23rd November 2007)
"Always find your brands in the slipstream of the market leaders? Well this could be the book for you." (The Drum, October 17th 2008)
"...full of such useful ideas that a whole generation of marketing folk bang on about [it]" ( Campaign, Friday 23rd November 2007) See all Product description
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This book is quite useful in pointing out via examples how a consumer brand should "think" in order to get noticed, to create traction in the market, in order to have a chance against potentially larger and much more established brands.
There is no simple recipe nor answer, but it is quite thought-provoking and in fact therefore pretty useful.
He has developed some sort of conceptual model which I personally don't need much nor find too useful - having been a management consultant with a famous consultancy in my distant past - but the practical examples and comments are good.
Put very simple other books like appraised Kevin Robert's Lovemarks stress the importance of an emotional connection in B2C relations. Fair enough but this finding is the easy part. How to do it is much more tricky.
Eating the Big Fish gives you the blue print to accomplish this. Am on my fourth copy (all worn out with underlining and comments) and Adam Morgan's brilliant thinking has been the foundations of all my companies since I first read the first edition more than 10 years ago. I cannot express my die hard excitement strong enough.
Actually when I come to think about it - maybe I should instead encourage you to not read this book. Because then I potentially loose my competitive edge..:)
However, some sort of poetic justice and my deep appreciation for Eating The Big Fish encourage my to tell the truth: The best book and not by coincidence the foundation on which successful companies like Innocent and Method created their storytelling.
As much as you can't become a challenger just by reading a book, this is a bloody good start and guide-rail for when you do default back to mundane mainstream, albeit temporarily.