Managers of the world you need never be afraid again!
You need never view market share as something that exists purely to undermine your achievements despite the fact that you also have to control a team of feral young executives that drink way too much when you put your company credit card behind the bar.
You need never feel embarrassed as you hob-nob at industry trade conferences and hear tales from, ‘the other side,’ tall stories about how the other half live – your competitors.
You see, despite the fact that your main competitors might be about to launch an IPO that will make your opposite number in their company a millionaire several times over, you have one last trick up your sleeve. You have us – The W1nners’ Club.
Fear not, because we are about to teach you how to destroy all your competitors’ lofty market aspirations by damaging their corporate reputation.
Here’s how you do it:
1. Social Media
Facebook has 1.6 billion active users, Twitter 300 million, Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26 billion. There’s also Snapchat, Tumblr and Instagram to name but a few. No doubt this time next year everybody will be using the next big social media fad – a Twitface or a Linkedchat – maybe even a Microsnap? The point is, social media is everywhere. It enables spontaneous communication with anyone on earth, or at least anyone that has an internet connection – a number that is rapidly increasing all the time. Companies therefore have to be active on social Media to stay engaged with their customers or more pertinently, your competitors do. What therefore, is to stop you or one of your team from masquerading as a disgruntled ex-employee and setting up a Facebook page that dishes the dirt on your supposed former boss? We’re thinking along the lines of false allegations about the company’s conduct, sensitive operational information, or maybe some personal stuff about the senior managers that work there. This approach could potentially be extremely damaging and also very difficult to control once it’s been shared a few times.
2. Negative Broadcast Coverage
Programmes like Watchdog and Panorama have an important role to play by scrutinizing the ethical conduct of businesses. The reach such programmes have means that negative coverage of a company’s affairs can be extremely damaging. If you want to stick the knife in on a competitor therefore, try contacting the producer of such a show and make a serious allegation about your nemesis. Even if it’s untrue, by the time the company’s lawyers get involved the rumour will already have done its vital work in damaging their reputation.
3. Use Your Own Media
The publishing of disparaging articles about a competitor’s products and services on your own website coupled with false allegations that your competitor is suffering financial problems, should create enough negative speculation to cause harm to their business. If you can, distribute a link to the disparaging article via as many social media platforms as possible as well.
4. Cyber Attack
Welcome to the 21st Century. Cyber attacks are as common these days as a Deliah Smith cookery book was back in the 1980s. Online theft, exploitation of intellectual property, stealing business information or simple denial of service attacks are a reality for most businesses today. You should therefore not baulk at employing such tactics yourself when seeking to undermine a competitor. The theft of personal data always goes down a treat if you need to erode a bit of trust among a competitor’s paying subscribers.
5. Regulatory Smears
As we’ve seen in recent times with FIFA, modern organisations of note have to be whiter than white when it comes to their day-to-day business practices. Get things wrong and it can rot a company’s reputation to the core, damage the business and get the company’s directors locked up in jail. A perceived lack of compliancy therefore provides an excellent way for you to discredit a competitor. One way to achieve this end is to create a, ‘front,’ company that trades with a competitor and when the time is right, simply make allegations of corrupt payments and see them sink into oblivion under the weight of anti-bribery legislation.
6. Breaches of Confidence
Sensitive company information is a vital asset for any firm. If you are able to obtain access to this information, you can wreak havoc on your competitor. Luckily, breaking into offices in the dead of night and making photocopies of documents to be sneaked out of your opponent’s office is no longer necessary. All you need is a morally suspect insider with a smartphone camera. Once you obtain your competitor’s client list, you are free to commence a smear campaign that has all the credibility of a Donald Trump announcement that he has just converted to Islam.