Kick Your Competitors To the Curb With This Excellent Marketing Princliple

by Steven Weisenburger

Regardless of the industry you're in, the battle for sales is fierce. With competitors around every corner, lying in wait to steal your customers, take your profits and bury you as deep as they can with superior advertising and marketing tactics. What's your battle plan to defeat the enemy?

h Alexander the Great was never defeated in battle, that's why they called him Great. The rest of us should be so lucky, but I don't know anyone that hasn't lost a few battles in the marketing war.

So what was Alexanders secret to success and can that secret be used today?

Let's take a brief look at Alexanders life and some of legendary feats he accomplished.

First off, it's important to give Alexander's dad, King Phillip II of Macedon, some credit. When Alexander was 13 years old his dad hired Aristotle as his sons teacher. Aristotle hung out with Socrates and Plato and was noted as one of the greatest young minds of his time.

Obviously, his father knew the importance of exercising the mind as well as the body, because Aristotle became the headmaster of the military school Alexanders father built for his son, along with some of his son's buddies, to attend.

After hanging out with Aristotle, Alexander became a pretty sharp guy himself. Aristotle taught Alexander how to think. It's been said that thinking is the hardest act we can ever do -- so true.

So being well prepared, his dad put him in charge of the Army and turned him loose. His conquests were of epic proportion - he essentially went out and conquered the then known world.

One of the earliest examples revealing Alexanders ability to think was the story of how he won his horse, Bucephalus, when he was just 12. No one could mount the horse, but Alexander noticed that the horse feared his own shadow. When Alexander turned the horse into the sun so he could not see his shadow, he became docile and to the wonderment of all let Alexander mount him.

The fortress of Tyre was on an island, and thus, unapproachable by infantry since they can't walk on water. Tyre had indeed proven itself invincible. As Alexander approached this problem he had to do some pretty heavy thinking. How do you defeat an invincible city if your solders cannot march upon it?

Since Tyre was and island, the obvious tactic was to put a blockade thus cutting off vital supply lines. After a seven month blockade yielded no results, and having plenty of time on his hands to think, Alexander decided to change the rules -- he altered the geography by building a causeway from the mainland to Tyre. He marched his soldiers right over and battered down the gate and the fortress fell, and the causeway is still there today.

In another incident, an Indian noble had a castle on a mountain, and Alexander wanted him to submit. The noble said, "Unless you have men with wings, you'll never take this fortress!" Alexander sent some mountaineers up the mountain at night (about 90 percent survived) with orders to wave white cloths from the top. He then told the noble, "There are your winged men!" The man was so overcome with surprise that he gave in, although it is doubtful that Alexander could have beaten him.

pan·o·ply [pan-uh-plee]
1.a wide-ranging and impressive array or display: the dazzling panoply of the maharaja's procession; the panoply of European history.
2.a complete suit of armor.


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