It used to be that big market leaders competed only with other big market leaders. It was incumbents versus incumbents. In mass marketing’s hey-day, two or at most three brands dominated virtually every product category –information was forced through the pipeline of just three television networks. There was little choice and little change.

But those days are over. And the information revolution has opened up a new age of increased choice and constant change.

Today’s incumbent market leaders continue to rely on traditional mass marketing approaches, and even outdated, “by-the-numbers” marketing: Ubiquitous distribution, production optimization, prime in-store placement, regular price promotion, heavy broadcast advertising, major league sponsorships….the whole enchilada.

But now, these market leaders are facing competitors who do not play by the rules of mass marketing. As with incumbents in politics, long-term leadership seems to lull many market leaders to sleep. They barely notice the insurgent brands rising up around them.

Suddenly, today, upstart or underdog brands are appearing on the radar. And they are shaking up the market and rattling the supply chain with street-level, street-fighting marketing strategies.

Indeed, you might be surprised by these insurgents: not all of them are start-ups or small upstarts. We have seen, for example, that brands as big as McDonald’s, Google or Southwest Airlines are all but unstoppable when they play by insurgent rules. And it’s worth studying the insurgent strategy secrets these companies have learned.

In many CPG and B2B categories, insurgent brands are leading the development of new segments. And the cost to incumbents of following these insurgent brands — and following consumers who are looking constantly for choice and change — is immense.

Learning to think, plan and act like an insurgent is important for any organization of any size and any market position today. Our clients have asked us to develop specific training programs for individuals, teams or for their entire corporate culture.

Start the new year right by reviewing our complete white paper by calling 1-888-847-3075 or emailing

David Morey can be reached for speaking engagements through MVP Seminars.

About David Morey

DAVID MOREY, Vice Chairman of Core Strategy Group and CEO of DMG, is one of America’s leading strategic consultants.  He is the award-winning co-author of The Underdog Advantage (McGraw Hill), and has helped add hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and value to a wide range of Fortune 500 companies. Mr. Morey has worked with some of the world’s top business leaders –and he has advised five Nobel Peace Prize winners and twelve winning global presidential campaigns, including that of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.



About Core Strategy Group

We are dedicated to helping companies win – using our insurgent strategic approach to grow profitably. We deliver provocative points of view and actionable solutions across a range of industries. Everything we do is geared to driving growth for our clients and helping them win in the market. We lead, support, or even completely integrate with your team to create breakthrough strategies and plans that work.

We’ve helped 40 of the Fortune 500 companies realize the benefits of insurgent strategy. From big steel to national broadcasting – dozens of organizations take their approach to marketing to the insurgent level.