Fortify-and-defend strategy: The essence of “fortify-and defend” is to make it harder for challengers to gain ground and for new firms to enter. Specific defensive actions can include: (1) attempting to raise the competitive ante for challengers and new entrants via increased spending for advertising, higher levels of customer service, and bigger R&D outlays, (2) introducing more product versions or brands to match the product attributes that challenger brands have or to fill vacant niches that competitors could slip into, (3) adding personalized services and other extras that boost customer loyalty and make it harder and more costly for customers to switch to rival products, (4) keeping prices reasonable and quality attractive, (5) building new capacity ahead of market demand to discourage smaller competitors from adding capacity of their own, (6) investing enough to remain cost-competitive and technologically progressive, (7) patenting the feasible alternative technologies, and (8) signing exclusive contracts with the best suppliers and dealer distributors. A fortify-and-defend strategy best suits firms that have already achieved industry dominance and do not wish to risk antitrust action. A fortify-and-defend strategy always entails trying to grow as fast as the market as a whole and requires reinvesting enough capital in the business to protect the leader’s ability to compete.
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