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Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders (Adweek Book S.) Hardcover – January 13, 1999


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (January 13, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471242098
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471242093
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419,097 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

: "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)

Review

  --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

This is a business book that all small business owners or secondary brands management should read.
Ian, Cheow Yu Yuan
Also Morgan writes in a very enjoyable and lively style, which definitely makes the understanding and digestion easier.
Marque Pierre Sondergaard
And I can tell, once you have presented the idea to clients it will work in favour for outstanding solutions.
Falk Fuhrmann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 31, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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 By J. Ferry on 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. "..marketing 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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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marque Pierre Sondergaard on June 27, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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 By "mpmcdonald" on March 16, 2000
Format: Hardcover
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
An excellent study for anyone working with a #2 or lower brand (and that's most people). It is certain to provoke thought and discussion.
The only drawback to the book is that the writing style is quite formal. The man is obviously not a copywriter. Still, the content is so valuable that you're prepared to work through it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J. Malnar on August 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own (oooooh) probably between 80 and 100 books on marketing, some are obligatory read for my masters in marketing, some are handpicked in stores and on amazon and I stand by the title of my review. What can you take out from this book: YOU CAN compete with big brands, there are attitudes and ways of running your business that can knock down the goliath in your industry, and this book explains how, giving numerous examples from various industries. Only negative, if I can call it that, is author's writing style, which was rather hard for me, but then again, I am croatian, so it could be my english, not mr Morgan's :). A MUST!! have.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By carolineliza on January 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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