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Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders [Kindle Edition]

Adam Morgan
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

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Book Description

EATING THE BIG FISH : How Challenger Brands Can Compete AgainstBrand Leaders, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

The second edition of the international bestseller, now revisedand updated for 2009, just in time for the business challengesahead.

It contains over 25 new interviews and case histories, twocompletely new chapters, introduces a new typology of 12 differentkinds of Challengers, has extensive updates of the main chapters, arange of new exercises, supplies weblinks to view interviews onlineand offers supplementary downloadable information.

Editorial Reviews


"Eating the Big Fish is a lucid, well organized and well executed analysis of successful Challenger strategies...Highly recommended." (, April 23rd 2009) ‘…a must read for anyone in marketing.' (Admap, January 2011).



Product Details

  • File Size: 1847 KB
  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470238275
  • Publisher: Wiley; 2 edition (April 3, 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026REB8C
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #254,022 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Not the Size of the Fish in the Fight.... October 31, 2001
Morgan explains how "challenger brands can compete against brand leaders." What is a "challenger brand"? In his Preface, Morgan suggests that it is based on eight "credos":

1. Break with the immediate past

2. Build a lighthouse entity

3. Assume thought leadership of the category

4. Create symbols of reevaluation

5. Sacrifice

6. Overcommit

7. Use advertising and publicity as a high-leverage asset

8. Become ideas-centered rather than consumer-centered

He discusses each in detail in Part II.

Morgan's primary objective is to provide what he calls a "magnetic compass" for Small Fish which will enable them to compete successfully. Obviously, they face problems: certain markets have moved for the first time from maturity to overcapacity; as a result, there is not enough "food" to go around; and while turning their attention downward, the Big Fish have also turned outward...toward Small Fish; as the Big Fish moved downward, retailers moved upward. Time and again, he stresses the importance of ideas...actually, better ideas. Hence the imperative to break with the past: assume nothing, take no one and nothing for granted, constantly ask "What if?" and "Why not?" For Small Fish, the status quo is death. Period. Better ideas are engaging, provocative, and self-propagating. They help to create competitive advantages.

Think in terms of an ambush: A Challenger brand can attack whenever and wherever least expected. A Challenger brand redefines terms such as "enemy", "opponent", "competition", etc. A Challenger brand has attitude. It thrives when underestimated. Better yet, when ignored. Big Fish know they are Big Fish. They have a tendency to become arrogant, complacent, hence vulnerable.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Challenges" the conventional wisdom September 15, 1999
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm telling all my clients about this book. If you agree with the following, you'll like it too. " is not a science but informed judgement...the cover of the book should offer a photograph of Herb Kelleher, dressed as his occasional business alter ego, Elvis Presley, with the title 'Does This Man Look Like a Scientist?'"
Great exercises to get you thinking, no matter if your brand is a leader or an also ran. e.g."Grove" named for Andy Grove- "Fire ourselves- leave the building and come back in as an entirely new team. What's one thing you would stop doing and one thing you would do instead?" Morgan punches holes in conventional wisdom- mission statements, focus groups, etc. A favorite quote: "The key failure, then, for any company attempting to effect a gear change in its own performance is not the ability to define its intention, but the inability to translate intention into behavior."
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and entertaining June 27, 2000
To my knowledge the first book/research study that doesn't fail into the common trap of synthesizing the marketing secrets of the cathegory leaders, that 99% of us are not.
In that way a very interesting approach to marketing. That aside the insights presented here are brilliant and relevant. Also Morgan writes in a very enjoyable and lively style, which definitely makes the understanding and digestion easier.
All in all an entertaining book about a field that should interest everybody involved in managing or marketing a business. Not bad at all!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, but skim the latter chapters March 16, 2000
I am new to marketing and I wanted a good book on marketing. This one delivers, particularly for challenger brands something that is becomming more apparent in eCommerce. While the book does not talk about eCommerce many of the concepts and thoughts apply. Overall worth reading to learn about branding and marketing.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last something really new in Marketing Books! July 2, 1999
By A Customer
I read it in one sitting. Apart from being extremely well written and entertaining it is brimming with new ideas ..that can actually work!Highly recommendable to anyone in the fields of Marketing and Advertising, including Education...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have read many leadership books the last few years and I decided to read to this book because my company is transitioning to using the "challenger" marketing system. All I can say is that I hope the marketing changes my company makes are better than this book. This is one of the most disjointed and difficult leadership books I have read. So many examples of success stories yet I felt the author never clearly states how to implement an effective marketing campaign. Just reviewing this book and not judging the success of the companies that use it, it took me a week to slog through the 300 pages and it felt like a chore just finishing the pages. This may be one of those books that have to be read a couple of times (I hope not) to really get to the core meaning. In summary, not recommended for the casual reader of leadership books.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Break your own balls January 28, 2008
This book is about breaking through into a world where you don't accept number two status but you focus every element of your business into being the best of your own category.

Don't accept that this book is just for marketing executives, it should be read by everyone in business to comprehend how crucial it is to change your way of thinking. The entire book is summed up on page 264, where there is a clear four stage process outlined visually. The book is full of stories to illuminate Morgan's theories and outlines 'think tank' processes in order for your business no matter how big or small to 'break with your immediate past' and forge a new way of doing things.

Brilliant book that changed the way I approached business and marketing. I'd not have the drive and success without it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Fast shipping. Great quality
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
the best resource on challenger brands...great reminders for those who think they don't need this book/audio version.
Published 8 months ago by fhcgsps
5.0 out of 5 stars Every manager should read!!
Cracking book. Lots of great ideas and insights. Every business manager should read!!
Published 8 months ago by scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Indispensable
One of the top five business marketing books of the past decade, Challenger Brands lays out an action plan for any business that is struggling to compete against the Goliaths.
Published on January 10, 2013 by Michael E. Zimmerman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Insight!
Really enjoyed how the author encourages you to look at other businesses unrelated to your field then bring back lessons learned to your situation. Read more
Published on November 6, 2012 by Fred Nilson
2.0 out of 5 stars Eat the big fish or jump the big shark?
I know there are some good strategic ideas here but I was incredibly put off by the misinformation right up front about people's media habits and media consumption patterns across... Read more
Published on September 21, 2012 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Down to Earth Explanation of Challenger Brand Concepts
This is a great book for anyone in the branding, marketing or advertising industries to learn to think a little differently about branding. Read more
Published on August 10, 2012 by sparklehorse
1.0 out of 5 stars What a bunch of crap
Just rehash the same old stuff that basic branding has been teaching us all for years. A bunch a crap.
Published on March 15, 2012 by BadThursday
4.0 out of 5 stars A Guide for the Rest of Us
This book details the realities, challenges, and opportunities of those brands that aren't the category leaders. Read more
Published on October 30, 2011 by Gift Card Recipient
5.0 out of 5 stars Eating the big fish
This was an order for additional copies of a book for my colleagues at work
Published on April 3, 2010 by Mike Heath
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