BlogMarketing StrategyUtilizing Defense Strategy for Marketing: Examples and Best Practices

Utilizing Defense Strategy for Marketing: Examples and Best Practices

Defense strategy in marketing is when you prepare for the worst by ensuring your product will sell well even if the market crashes. Defense strategies are often used in conjunction with other types of marketing but can be utilized on their own. Defense strategy in marketing will help to ensure that your business lives through tough times and thrives during prosperous ones. The examples and best practices listed below will show you how this works!

Why Does Defensive Marketing Matter? 

Most industries have a market leader generally defined as the highest revenues and the most remarkable customer base. And that only means you will always rise to the top. This is why it must be done to defend your brand, and you have to take measures. The deeper your defense perimeter, the more comprehensive your defense perimeter, the stronger it is. Conversely, if you cannot hold onto your position in a fight, you won’t gain anything new. Startups in the technological sector can disrupt markets faster than traditional companies. For example, before Netflix made its debut in 2008, Blockbuster ran a DVD production rental business. However, Blockbuster tried to adapt its business model by launching an online product.

How Effective is Defensive Marketing?

Defensive marketing tactics apply most directly to existing clients. For products that are purchased constantly, this includes an immense number of satisfied clients. Different defensive tactics are necessary and vary depending on the nature of the competitor’s approach to attack. For example, loyal customers from a retail shop or fast-food restaurant sometimes represent a significant portion of sales, even if they are only a minor part of the overall customer base. In cases of competition, when the product costs less, strategies are focused on the price-sensitive customer. When the product comes with a characteristic that attracts its consumer, the repositioning strategy may be used. The key should be to determine what strengths competitors have first identified, their strengths resonate with and how to take up the challenge.

Check also some easy marketing tactics in our other blog post!

Defensive Marketing Options

Even the best defensive marketing strategy cannot prevent a company from suffering lower profits than before the competition. A market exception is a “dark market,” where a market leader has not yet realized how much more demand exists for its product (for example, Tylenol in the late 80s). Defense firms must be cautious when attacking robust competitors’ strengths and cannot change products to drive their success. Pepsi was faced with Coke-Cola in the 1980s in a battle against them.

Defense strategies are often used when there’s a weak economy to help ensure that you can continue selling even if other companies aren’t. Defense strategy helps market leaders stay on top during turbulent times and provides small businesses with enough resources to get through lean periods. Defense marketing is a common practice and can be seen in many marketing campaigns today.

Defense marketing is a handy tool in maintaining market share, even when faced with competition. Defense strategies are used to ensure that your company remains profitable during tough times and keep you around for good times as well!

You can utilize defense strategy by:

  • Taking advantage of the brand loyalty your customers already have
  • Providing discounts on your product
  • Repositioning your marketing to focus on different groups of people who are more interested in the services you provide
  • Sharing content across social media channels to raise brand awareness
  • Offering incentives, discounts, and special promotions for new customers or existing clients.

Check also “How to Gain Market Share from Competitors“.

How Do I Implement a Robust Defensive Marketing Strategy?

Defensive marketing strategies are categorized by the intended purpose and the way they want to accomplish these objectives. Let us look at a few methods to help. To use a brand moat analogy, you want cannons and archers to protect your castle also and a deep moat in. We prefer using several ways like canons or archers, or mortars. To use our moat analogy, you would have wanted cannons protecting a castle. And they can also be classified by the ways achieved these aims: They can also be classified by the degree of effectiveness.

Improve Your Product

Facebook recently introduced a new service to compete against Google Plus. If you decide to switch something out of your product, you’ll lose customers. For example, if Coca-Cola compared new Coke with Pepsi to the taste of its drinks, they threw away their marketing plan because they didn’t understand the potential benefits. However, Coca-Cola was forced to return to its original recipe instead of trying again to acquire a Pepsi customer. In others, you can do a great deal of damage as a measure of resistance against the competition.

Deploy Specific Measures

Tesco was able to thwart Walmarts initiatives in Britain. With data intelligence generated by its Clubcard loyalty program, Tesco mailed personalized coupons and promotions to existing customers. Tesco also put a steeper price target on all shoppers’ goods to fend off Walmart. Utilize your unique customer insights in the development of strategic tactics and defend your market share. Use customer information in planning and implementation of strategies.

Awaken Your Sleeping Market

Tylenol reacted quickly and effectively against Darul. However, you don’t have to wait until your brand gets attacked before you start defending your brand. With campaign campaigns that help protect your positions, grow your brand, and increase potential future customers, you can remind your existing clientele of your current business. Likewise, Tylenol had a rapid reactance to the drug described by the pharmacist above.

Defend Your Space Against Competitors. 

Reward existing customers with discounts and promotions. Also, use social media channels for advertising/marketing. Defense marketing is about maintaining or growing your market share, even during economic downturns and competition.

You can do this by utilizing the brand loyalty your customers already have, offering discounts on products or services, repositioning marketing to focus on different groups of people who are more interested in the services you provide, and sharing content across social media channels.

Use Customer Information in Planning and Implementation of Strategies. 

Awaken your sleeping market. Use your unique customer insights in the development of strategic tactics and defend your market share.

Deploy specific measures to fend off competition. Use campaign campaigns that help defend your positions grow your brand, and increase potential future customers. Reward existing customers with discounts and promotions also use social media channels for advertising/marketing against competitors. Defense marketing is about maintaining or growing your market share, even during economic downturns and competition. Utilize the brand loyalty your customers already have, offer discounts on products or services, reposition marketing to focus on different groups of people who are more interested in the services you provide and share content across social media channels.

Most Popular Types of Defense Strategies

Some of the most popular types of defense strategies are:

Contraction Defense

The contraction defense is the least acceptable because it involves a retreat from the market. However, if you think you could effectively protect these markets, it can be a good option. It also helps you redeploy funds into other sectors. For example, imagine you manufacture two products: liquid soap and bar soap. If the bar soap industry is stagnant, you should retreat from it and begin producing liquid soap.

Flanking Defense

When a firm uses flanking defense, it defends its market share by diversifying its customers to new markets and niche segments. There are some new markets where you can make more of that less than you can make up with other investments of similar size. The threat of flank defense is that it can shorten your resources and distract you from where you focus.

Position Defense

Positional defensive is the most straightforward defensive strategy. It simply entails trying to retain your current position on the market. An excellent first step would be investing and growing in your current needs to build your brand and create a customer loyalty base. The issue with the strategy is that it can make you a target for new entrants.

Mobile Defense

Mobile defense requires constant improvement of your business. It can be accompanied by offering new products, entering new markets, or changing existing products. This continuous movement between strategies requires a flexible company capable of adapting to change. Therefore, mobile defense is constantly switching systems too.

Counter-Offensive Defense

Counteroffensive Defense is an action strategy. What does one attack their business unless they defend theirs? For example, if you run a bakery that only makes gluten-free products, you can try out regular bread products. This requires a serious investment in time and money.

Reinforcement Defense

The reinforcement defense is when your business continues to invest within its existing markets, products, and services rather than moving towards new ones. Reinforcing the company’s position on the market can be very profitable because you continue to add value for existing customers. This strategy would also be helpful in the case of a defensive position.

Offensive Defense

This strategy entails going on offense and making attacks towards your opponent’s market share. This is not a good idea because it only works when you have complete information about your opponent’s actions, but then that puts you at risk of being attacked by them instead. The other problem with this strategy is that it can be costly.

Advantages of Defensive Strategies 

  1. Protects with existing customers and their needs
  2. Less risky strategy compared to Offensives or Strategic Moves because you have a greater understanding of the market by being in it for so long already. This also means less waste from investment mistakes if they do happen.
  3. It can also be more profitable because you are already getting returns from existing products or services that have been established for a more extended period, so there is less room to improve them and make even greater profits on your investments.

Disadvantages of Defensive Strategies

  1. It does not work in every situation where the company cannot afford to lose the market share it has already acquired.
  2. The business is at risk of being attacked by new entrants who can see an opportunity for growth and will not hesitate to go after it when they decide they want a piece of your pie.
  3. You are still susceptible if you do not have complete information about your opponents, so you are more likely to be the one attacked instead of being able to attack them.
  4. It can also be risky if you have a high number of investments. It is difficult for your business to move from one strategy to another. There could be wasted resources invested in loss-making companies that cannot afford significant changes or new products/services introduced into the market.

Best Practices for Defensive Strategies

  1. If you can fund many investments, then it is worth investing in different strategies and seeing what will work best for your business model. This allows you to learn from mistakes and successes so that they can be applied later on if needed.
  2. The more information about the competitors you have, the better. This is because it allows for a more accurate assessment of their strengths and weaknesses, which would be beneficial in knowing how to best attack or defend against them.
  3. You must also allocate adequate resources to each new product or service that comes out to make an impact on your business model if they are successful. You do not want to spend all of your money investing in new products only for them not to gain traction within the market.
  4. It is essential that you make swift changes when needed, so it may be best to use multiple management styles throughout different parts or layers of your business model to ensure successful implementation and growth, even if things do not go as planned.
  5. It is also essential to assess what investments are worth keeping and which ones should be cut if they end up being a liability on your business model instead of an asset. You must ensure that you have enough resources for each new product or service, so it doesn’t become too costly when changes need to be made.
  6. It would help to cut losses that will not benefit your business model either because they are too expensive or do not bring any value to the table. This is so you can ensure maximum returns on investments and focus all of your resources on taking advantage of new opportunities when they come up instead of wasting them by investing in things that do not work.
  7. Lastly, you must always be aware of the current market conditions because things change over time, and it is essential to adapt your business model accordingly to take advantage of these changes before others can or cut losses early enough so that they are minimized as much as possible when it comes down to changing circumstances.


The blog post has provided a few examples of how to use defense strategy for marketing purposes. We hope you have enjoyed reading this article, and we look forward to hearing your feedback! If you are interested in learning more about the topic, please read our other blog posts or contact us with any questions that may arise from these articles.

You should read also our blog post about Business Marketing Strategies.

Professional consultant and project manager in software houses. He has over 8 years of experience as a project manager for key clients. Currently mainly works on business consulting and communication with strategic clients. Privately a fan of good food, board games, and cycling. He loves to share his experience with new people!

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