Oct 2013 21

If you follow “Ted Talks”, or are a fan of Malcolm Gladwell, you would either have watched his talk on David and Goliath or read his newly released book on the same subject. Just in case you have not, find it above.

Malcolm is still on the the best storytellers of the 21st century. While I do not necessarily agree with all his assertions, I must give props to his ability to spin scenarios and craft the most-beautiful stories.

One major thing is I picked is: “your problems are not as big as they seem”. Basically, Goliath was not as strong as he was ascertained to be according to Malcolm’s story.

As a stuck-up brand specialist who relates everything, even her love life, to branding; I would give you a run down on why and how there are so many David and Goliath brands in industry categories today.


David – Start-up brand

Goliath –  Successful brand

The Philistines – Established Company

The steep valley – Market place

Sling/Stone – Strategy

Market gap – Goliath’s forehead

For every brand, there is a Goliath in that category you try to venture into, there is a bigger brand in the favour of all investors possible and those who can always copy and implement your brand’s marketing tactics.

In newly cut out categories, there are the philistines who try to take you into captivity (crush you or buy you up) when they see your potential or start-up their Goliath when you do not succumb.

david and goliath

Do you always agree to be bought even when you notice that the opposing side does not want your potential to come to life OR do you step forward as that David and come up with the most focused brand strategies?

The reason most start-ups lose is lack of focus and fear where-in they start competing in the market place with the exact tactics their competition is using (armour). So you think you want to compete against a larger corporation and you go and start an advertising war with the same weapons they use?

What you really need is your positivity (the courage to work forward), a good strategy (a sling/stone), and targeting the market gap (Goliath forehead).

As a small start-up with a lot of potential, you must have acquired a lot of experience in your planning phase, and your best thought out strategies are those you can best use to compete in your market space.

In conclusion, as a start-up, your sling/stone, your David(brand) and your focus (Goliath’s forehead) is all you need to succeed. And if you already are putting on the same armour your competitor is using (going on advertising sprees  and what-not), the earlier you take it off and use the best experience you are used to, the best for your brand.