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Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks [Hardcover]

Tim Calkins

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Book Description

Oct. 16 2012 0230340342 978-0230340343

The EMM Marketing Book of the Year, 2013

Anyone with a successful business can be certain of one thing: competitors are looking for opportunities to attack. As a result, defending a business is a critical task for business leaders. Indeed, a good defense is far more important that a good offense. If you fail trying to grow, you will miss your objectives. If you fail defending your business, you can lose everything. Defensive strategy is a brutal business; the objective is to drive competitors into the ground and make off with their ideas. It isn't pretty, but a good defense can be very effective. Here, Calkins shows business leaders how to create and maintain a defensive strategy including: how to understand and get competitive intelligence; how to determine if your brand or company is at risk; how to create a defensive strategy; how to blunt your competitor's efforts - and much more. Every business leader needs to understand how to play defense and this book will teach them how to do it.


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"It's a brutally competitive world out there. Tim Calkins outlines the weapons and strategies available to defend against the big guys, while exploring how and when to defend against a guerilla insurgency. Wear a flak jacket." - Andy England, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, MillerCoors

"A well thought-out and articulated defense plan is not reactive, but rather a proactive strategy to protecting your business. Tim's principles and practices are for those exceptional managers who have both the courage and discipline to deliver against the non-negotiable of defending their brand . . . no matter what." - Richard H. Lenny, Former Chairman & CEO, The Hershey Company

"In tough times, the best offense is often a good defense. That's what makes this book so interesting and relevant." - Dr. John A. Quelch CBE, Distinguished Professor of International Management, Vice President and Dean, CEIBS

"Tim Calkins excellent new book is a wake-up call to the fact that most companies are not smart about how to defend their company, brand or product. All your growth planning is worthless if you haven't figured out how to defend your business." - Philip Kotler, S.C. Johnson & Son Professor of International Marketing, Kellogg School of Management

"In this bracing and valuable guide to defensive brand strategy, Calkins makes a compelling argument for why any organization must remain vigilant in the face of competitive market pressures." - Dipak C. Jain, Dean, INSEAD

"Defending Your Brand takes an innovative look at an often neglected aspect of marketing strategies, how to defend a firm's competitive advantage which has come under attack. Calkins' use of many illustrative case studies and his to-the-point writing style makes this book relevant and fun to read for managers." - Prof. Dr. Holger Ernst, WHU,Otto Beisheim School of Management

"Defending Your Brand provides powerful insight into successful brands that win despite an increasingly competitive global environment. This guide provides strategies and actions that fit the tough realities of defending a valuable brand against determined competition. Whether you are preparing for a competitive entry or planning to take on an established brand, Defending Your Brand is a must read." - Chuck Raup,Vice President / General Manager, U.S. Sugar, The Hershey Company

"In over 25 years leading business and brand strategy, I haven't come across a more practical and compelling case for investing in defensive strategy. Tim's analytical approach is grounded in business theory, but perhaps more importantly, application in the real world. Regardless of your industry or budget, you will benefit from this work." - Brad Cumings, Chief Marketing Officer, TruGreen and Terminix

"Calkins has written a valuable management reference, illuminating the usually hidden but critical arts of effective defense.This worthy guide, brought to life with robust case examples, warrants readingby every manager who wants tosucceed amidstthe disruptive competitive forcesof our capitalist system." - M. Carl Johnson III, Executive Vice President, Brands, Del Monte Foods

"A must read for marketers, Calkins' book offers strategic and tactical wisdom on how to deal with ever-increasing competition. While we all tend to concentrate on offense (increased sales and market share) 'Defending Your Brand' focuses on an equally important but often overlooked marketing aspect, defense (defending your brand and protecting market share). I'm buying a copy for each member of my staff." - Rob Gallas, Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer, Museum of Science and Industry

"Creating a brand is hard work, but establishing a brand and maintaining its relevance is even more important. Understanding how to defend your brand against the competition is the difference between long term success and short term failure. Calkins shows how to keep brands on top by countering competitors' attacks." - Daniel Hamburger, President & CEO, DeVry Inc.

"This is a great read for any marketing leader. Defending Your Brand outlines practical strategies for brand management in a focused manner, backed by relevant and compelling case studies. You'll walk away with applicable ideas for your business." - Conrad York, Vice President Marketing, Northwestern Mutual

"The purpose of any writing on brand management is to provoke a thoughtful debate on strategy and the resulting actions. Professor Calkins' discussions on defensive strategies deliver on that purpose." - Kevin Newell, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Brand Officer, McDonald's Corporation

"Insightful, provocative and inspiring, this book provides a prism for executives and entrepreneurs to challenge even the most focused business strategies. Full of illustrative examples, we found ourselves preparing to fall into traps that we will now avoid. Tim nails it!" - E Douglas Grindstaff II, CEO, NuSirt Sciences, Inc.

"This book will be put to use immediately, whether you are driving out your annual operating plan, your five year strategic plan or helping your sales force win in the trenches tomorrow. As a result of this timely and well-crafted book, when companies' are crafting their long-range strategic growth plans, defensive strategy will now get the attention it has long deserved." - Scott M. Davis, Chief Growth Officer, Prophet

About the Author

Tim Calkins is clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. He teaches marketing strategy, biomedical marketing and branding. He is the author of Breakthrough Marketing Plans (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008) and co-editor of Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005). Prior to joining the Kellogg faculty, Tim spent 11 years at Kraft Foods leading businesses including A.1. Steak Sauce, Kraft BBQ sauce, Miracle Whip and Taco Bell Home Originals. In addition to teaching at Kellogg, Tim works with major corporations around the world on marketing strategy and branding issues. He is managing director of Class 5 Consulting, a marketing strategy firm. Tim is frequently cited by the media; he has been quoted in publications including BusinessWeek, Newsweek, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He has appeared on NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, and CNBC.

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Amazon.com: 4.9 out of 5 stars  19 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must" Read for execs, from start-ups to Fortune 50 Jan. 20 2013
By Robert Sherlock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
When I picked up Defending Your Brand, I thought it was going to be just a handbook for big, successful companies that need to defend their mature business positions against upstarts. It is that handbook, and a very good one. Yet it's much more. Even a successful company needs to innovate and shake up the market from time to time, and of course an early-stage firm can succeed only by bringing something valuable to an underserved market. This book will be just as useful to companies that are trying to shake up the status quo as to companies determined to preserve it. When you're innovating and trying to bring something new to customers, you'd better worry about what incumbents in the market might do to defend against you. If you can understand how incumbents are likely to react, you can make plans accordingly and increase your chances of success.

Tim Calkins does a thorough job outlining the major strategies and tactics commonly used to defend a market, including disrupting launch timing, limiting awareness, discouraging trial, and making it more difficult to line up distribution channels. He notes that some defensive tactics can approach or cross into legally questionable zones, and includes a very good chapter by attorney Stephen Calkins that gives executives principles for staying on the right side of the antitrust laws around the world. Finally, he includes a chapter that addresses how to keep your organizations's people in the right frame of mind, and recognized/rewarded for their actions that build long-term brand strength. Customer loyalty, he says, is probably the best defense of all.

Just as the players on a basketball team must be able to quickly change from playing offense to playing defense as they run up and down the court, every executive needs a mental framework and playbook for handling both these aspects of their "game." Defending Your Brand is a unique and valuable book that I will strongly recommend to the board members, CEOs, marketing and sales leaders, and other executives I work with.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marketing thumbs up! Oct. 30 2012
By Jorge - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I really enjoyed this book. The author explains in a very straightforward fashion the principles you should follow to protect your business in hard times. The analysis is complete and it goes from competitive intelligence, to the financial and legal aspects of these situations.
5.0 out of 5 stars A beacon for sound business strategy Jan. 6 2014
By Smriti Deokule - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It's a stark reminder of a topic that is so easily overlooked yet one that we can least afford to ignore in business. It serves as a compass for making sound strategic decisions on an ongoing basis. The groundbreaking theory is brought to life through practical examples which makes it a clear and easy read. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is focused on running a successful company.

Smriti Deokule
NuVista Strategies, Inc.
5.0 out of 5 stars Defending Your Brand is a knock out Nov. 25 2013
By T. McDonald - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Tim Calkins has written a very thorough, comprehensive and candid assessment associated with the process of brand defense. Having spent 20+ years in the CPG industry I can relate to a number of important lessons identified by Calkins. More importantly, I learned a few new things as well. Chapters are well developed and provide for an appropriate stair step approach to this incredibly important task. Must reading for all brand marketers; sales professionals as well.
5.0 out of 5 stars An essential handbook for anyone in marketing Aug. 27 2013
By Chas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Tim Calkins' book "Defending Your Brand" is an excellent blueprint for a key marketing strategy that is under-utilized and rarely discussed. As his vivid case examples will show, lack of brand defense has led to the demise of some key consumer staples while a strong defense is absolutely essential to long-term brand preservation. Calkins effectively details a set of powerful "how to" tactics for effectively fighting off potential and existing competitors. The author does a phenomenal job in providing diverse examples across varying products and industries, which enables his recommendations to be highly applicable and tangible.

As someone with a career in marketing, this book has been and will continue to be a powerful tool for me when designing strategy. This guide is a must have for marketers and general managers at companies big or small.

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