Eating the Big Fish by Adam Morgan
  • Title: Eating the Big Fish
  • Subtitle: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders
  • Author(s): Adam Morgan
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
  • Year: 2009-02-17
  • ISBN-10: 0470238275
  • ISBN-13: 9780470238271


In “Eating the Big Fish,” Adam Morgan offers a fresh perspective on how smaller brands can challenge and overtake big players in the market. Morgan explains his concept of “challenger brands,” which are companies that embrace their limitations and use them to their advantage. Through a series of case studies and engaging anecdotes, the author provides valuable insights and practical strategies for aspiring challengers.

Morgan dives deep into the traits and behaviors that set challenger brands apart from their competitors. He discusses the importance of having a strong purpose, being disruptive, and finding innovative ways to communicate with the target audience. The book also explores how these smaller brands can identify and exploit their opponents’ weaknesses, as well as how they can turn their own limitations into competitive advantages. “Eating the Big Fish” is an enlightening and inspiring read for marketers and entrepreneurs, offering a roadmap for success in an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace.

Book Review

In “Eating the Big Fish,” Adam Morgan deconstructs conventional wisdom by revealing how challenger brands can use their unique attributes to disrupt and surpass established market leaders. Through a captivating blend of storytelling, case studies, and actionable insights, Morgan provides a comprehensive framework for small and emerging brands looking to make a big impact in a crowded marketplace.

One of the standout aspects of the book is Morgan’s deep dive into the concept of the “challenger brand.” He challenges the notion that size and resources determine a brand’s success, stressing that it is the mindset and strategic approach that truly matters. By examining renowned brands such as Apple, Virgin, and Southwest Airlines, Morgan illustrates how these companies were able to achieve unmatched success against larger and more established competitors.

Morgan emphasizes the significance of having a clear and purpose-driven vision. He argues that challenger brands should base their strategies on a compelling purpose, enabling them to differentiate themselves from the competition. The author beautifully illustrates this point by recounting the story of Ben & Jerry’s, showcasing how their social activism and strong values created a loyal and passionate customer base.

Another crucial aspect discussed in the book is the art of being disruptive. Morgan encourages challenger brands to identify their industry’s sacred cows, challenge the status quo, and introduce new perspectives. Tesla Motors serves as a stellar example of this disruption. By entering the electric vehicle market, Tesla challenged the dominance of traditional automakers and redefined the way consumers perceive and experience automobiles.

Furthermore, Morgan highlights the importance of developing effective communication strategies to amplify a challenger brand’s voice. He introduces the concept of “lighthouse identity,” explaining how brands can communicate a clear and consistent message that attracts their target audience. A powerful example shared in the book is the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which challenged conventional beauty standards and resonated deeply with millions of women worldwide.

Throughout the book, Morgan also explores the psychological dynamics inherent in challenging established players. He presents insightful ideas on leveraging the inherent advantages of being a smaller, multidimensional, and passionate brand. By revealing the vulnerabilities of market leaders, Morgan encourages challenger brands to seize these opportunities and position themselves as worthy competitors.

In summary, “Eating the Big Fish” is a game-changer for marketers and entrepreneurs alike. Adam Morgan’s engaging narrative, coupled with his practical insights and real-world examples, makes this book a valuable resource for those seeking to disrupt and thrive in highly competitive markets. Packed with thought-provoking strategies, it offers an essential roadmap for challenger brands looking to eat the big fish.

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Target Audience

The book “Eating the Big Fish” by Adam Morgan is targeted at a diverse audience interested in marketing, branding, and entrepreneurship. It is recommended reading for the following audiences:

  • Marketers and Brand Managers This book is a must-read for professionals in the field of marketing and brand management. Morgan offers fresh perspectives, practical strategies, and real-life examples that can help marketers navigate the complexities of building successful challenger brands. It provides valuable insights into how smaller brands can effectively compete against larger players in the market.

  • Entrepreneurs and Startups “Eating the Big Fish” is highly recommended for aspiring entrepreneurs and startups seeking to carve out a niche and disrupt established industry leaders. The book equips them with the mindset and strategies needed to successfully challenge the status quo and position themselves competitively. It offers tangible guidance on leveraging limited resources and overcoming obstacles to create impactful brands.

  • Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations For small businesses and non-profit organizations looking to differentiate themselves in a crowded marketplace, this book offers invaluable advice. It explores how these entities can leverage their unique strengths, purpose, and values to challenge larger competitors. Morgan’s insights can help them redefine their market position and effectively communicate their distinct offerings to their target audience.

  • University Students and Researchers “Eating the Big Fish” is recommended reading for students and researchers studying marketing, branding, and entrepreneurship. With its comprehensive analysis of challenger brands and the strategies they employ, the book offers a wealth of knowledge and case studies that can inform academic research and contribute to a deeper understanding of the field.

In conclusion, “Eating the Big Fish” is recommended reading for marketers, entrepreneurs, small businesses, and students interested in understanding the dynamics of challenger brands. Adam Morgan’s insights and real-world examples provide practical guidance and inspiration, making it a valuable resource for anyone looking to challenge the big players and succeed in today’s competitive market.