In The Art of War, Sun Tzu wrote that "It’s more vital that you outthink your enemy than outfight him." Even after 2,500 years, this maxim continues to be so universal and relevant.

Sun Tzu warns against waging war with out a strategy or understanding what your ultimate goal is. Tactics aren’t strategy. Available world it’s common for folks to confuse both, because participating in tactics makes it looks as if you have strategy, even though you don’t. The very best leaders must first know very well what their goal is and work to build up unique tactics that will help achieve that goal. However they must also anticipate to change that goal, then employ new tactics to attain it.

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Here are several ways of employ to outthink your competition:

Seek out unique marketing arbitrage opportunities: In the first days, Google search ads were really cheap and drove high-quality traffic to ecommerce sites effectively. Today mobile advertising continues to be relatively cheap and will be used in an identical fashion, but it’s getting ultimately more expensive. Street teams and guerrilla marketing have proven affordable for many new soda brands such as for example Red Bull. Plenty of companies employ technology evangelists, whose job is to wait hackathons and meetups to market tools to programmers.

Find lower-cost suppliers: This is exactly what drove most manufacturing out of your U.S. to far flung parts of the world. In addition, it drove technology companies to outsource engineering resources to Asia or Eastern Europe. Ikea actually pioneered this process by moving manufacturing from Sweden to Poland, that was at that time a communist country and problematic for westerners to use in. You may still find opportunities to be enjoyed by finding low-cost suppliers, if you’re ready to put in enough time, effort and energy to see them.

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Take risks together with your brand : Use spokespeople or content that other more conservative brands won’t use. Fiat did this successfully through the use of Charlie Sheen, who was simply fired from his own show for unprofessional behavior, as a spokesperson. Virgin brands are popular for using unique, creative and outrageous marketing techniques. Its chairman, Richard Branson, once tried to circumnavigate the world in a heat balloon. He was unsuccessful at the journey, but extremely successful at generating PR for his company.

Look for and solve big challenges: Look explicitly for hard problems or difficult-to-employ strategies that others are avoiding and master them. Before Apple, everyone in the market believed a touchscreen only device was impossible to create. When the iPhone arrived, it had been revolutionary. A blog where one posts only 140 characters at the same time appears like a ridiculous idea, but that’s just what Twitter is. In lots of organizations there are systems, departments, technology or partners that folks avoid because it’s considered difficult. Undertake these challenges, master them and you may become a great and unduplicated resources.

Study your rivals, carefully evaluate yourself and become honest. It’s only through truth and self awareness, coupled with a careful analysis of the problem, that might be your way to success.

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