Steal a slice of someone elses’ pie

Guest blogger: Anne Charbonneau, Managing Partner brandgym NL and France

In today's hard times, its a good idea to look beyond your direct competitors. Why not steal a slice of someone elses' pie, from an adjacent market, or even one further away?

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This is what Chuppa Chups lollies are doing in Holland. They are one of several businesses trying to grab market space by establishing themselves as positive alternative for fags, following the smoking ban in Dutch cafes and restaurants in place since the summer. This brand is creating great on-shelf impact by:
– mimicking the warnings normally imposed by health authorities on cigarette packs, with claims such as "sucking relaxes" and "does not harm those around you" in a way which is both playful and rather convincing.
– borrowing the flip-top box codes of a cigarette pack
– getting placement at the supermarket check-out

With the growing budget pressure on households, consumers may be forced to make trade-off decisions that they never had to make before, between products and services which have nothing to do with each other. For example, would I cancel my home internet subscription if Starbucks invited me to surf there with a great reward and coffee promotion ?

We like using the challenge of "who loses when you win?" to get teams thinking about direct and indirect competition and where to steal sales from. This makes more sense than ever today, but the trick is to think wider than ever before.