Outhinking the competition

predatory thinkingIf you follow Dave Trott then you’ll know he’s keen on Predatory Thinking. If you’ve never heard about it, here is how it is defined is Dave’s agency’s “sister site”:

Whatever you want to call it, it’s about writing the rules on your terms, rather than following someone else’s; it’s about changing behaviour through reframing a story or changing the context; it’s about seeking unfair advantage to outmanoeuvre the competition.

Recently I came across an example which to me was a perfect example of this.

If you follow football, and in particular the English Premier League, you will know that Stoke have a reputation for getting lots of goals from free-throws.  The essentially use them as corner kicks when around the box.

They do this by having players who can throw the ball an extraordinarily long way.  However to do this, they need a long run up to gather sufficient momentum.

Recently they played Man City away, who decided that they would changing the playing field (almost literally).

By moving the advertising boards closer to field of play, it meant Stoke players could not get the run up for longer throws, thereby diminishing the impact and likelihood of dangerous free-throws.

You can see the difference in the pictures below

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Advertising boards Vs Reading

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Advertising boards Vs Stoke

And that ladies and gentlemen is a perfect example of predatory thinking; of diluting a competitor’s threat.

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