What Is Offensive Marketing and How Does It Work?

When more than one brand offers a similar kind of product, each of these brands only receives a percentage of the total sales of that particular type of product. This percentage is also known as “market share.” Any action to take away some of the market shares from one brand to bring to another is called an Offensive Marketing strategy.

Any company competing directly with another company is likely to utilize offensive marketing strategies.

An offensive marketing campaign is typically a story that a brand tells its audience. This story, however, must have a consistent, clear description such as:

  • How is your product superior to your competitors’ in terms of quality?
  • How your local business is connected with the community while your competitor is impersonal?
  • How your brand offers more to the audience as compared to your competitors for the same price?
  • How are your products healthier for consumers?

In the business world, the idea behind offensive marketing is to reach the audience who are either already preferring a competing brand or who are confused about which brand they would be purchasing from in the future.

Political campaigns are the best example to understand how offensive marketing works. These campaigns can be regarded as a competition between two or more brands where votes replace the profits. If two candidates are competing for a seat, the candidate who manages to grab the majority of the market shares, i.e., the voters, wins. Political campaigns are renowned for employing ”attack ads” planned to compare one candidate to the opposing candidate highlighting their downsides to creating a clear contrast, thereby influencing people’s votes.

Using Offensive Marketing Strategy

Offensive marketing might be a tricky initiative because a company not only has to convey the charisma of its products effectively but also needs to discern the strengths as well as weaknesses of their competitor’s products.

To create a powerful offensive marketing campaign, the first step is to recognize the pros and cons of your competitor. While creating a concentrated campaign, your competitor products’ positives should be toned down or neglected while giving emphasis to negatives.

For instance, let’s suppose Shop A and Shop B sells leather purses in the same town competing for the same consumers. If Shop A wants to take away some market shares from Shop B, it must ignore the strength that Shop A has relatively lower prices. Instead, it should emphasize that their purses are made from the best quality leather, while Shop B’s purses are of poor quality.

Companies must frequently monitor the effects of their offensive marketing campaigns and survey their customers for their opinions on the campaign. These companies should also observe any fluctuations during the campaign in their own market share to find out if the campaign has had the exact effect as they intended.

Example Of Successful Offensive Marketing

During the 1960s, the Harley Davidson company arose from near bankruptcy to control the market with an audacious business strategy. This all began when inexpensive, faster motorcycles from foreign companies, primarily the one’s based in Japan, started becoming the select bikes of Americans much to the disappointment of Harley.

Then Harley Davidson’s new dynamic strategy transformed the simple market competition to a full-blown war. They started spreading the impression that America was barely a disposal ground for the overproduced Japanese imported motorbikes while drawing up an image and belief surrounding their brand. While the imported motorcycles were sleek, speedy, and cheap, Harley Davidson continued to be simple, heavy, and costly.

Instead of rejecting these associations, Harley Davidson embraced them. They turned the tough-looking guy dressed in leather on the motorcycle into the brand icon. This strategy of focusing on the unique features of its products while highlighting what its competitor products lacked made Harley Davidson a household name and set it on the path to earning decades of profits.

By 2001, Harley Davidson owned more than half of the total market shares and was on a domestic earning splurge. Further, it also went on to become the top-selling heavy class motorcycle in Japan. Considering all this, we can say that their powerful offensive marketing strategy turned the tables.

So this was it. We hope this information is useful to you. Let us know your views about offensive marketing in the comments below.