An Indian Civilizational Perspective

How to Beat Walmart?

Walmart is one of the greatest “corporate villains” – according to many US activists.


It pinches on giving full compensation to its workers and also pulverizes the many small businesses in the small towns and cities of the US (and the rest of the world.. soon in India too!) Can someone compete against Walmart? Apparently you can.. but the way to do it is with focus and correct strategy.

According to my knowledge .. only two entities have successfully and spectacularly competed against Walmart – NetFlix and Target! While Walmart had to close its online/in-shop video/movie rental because it could not take on Netflix’s highly efficient supply chain process, Target consistently does better in terms of the higher income consumers – a niche, which btw, is increasing given the good run of the economy recently!! Here is some great advice distilled by Tom Peters!

READ these and remember them…. great advice!

Here’s my WallopWalmart16 list of “musts” if you are a “little guy” (one-person accountancy, restaurant, community bank, etc) out to eat the Big Guys’ lunch:

*Niche-aimed. (Never, ever “all things for all people,” a “mini-Wal*Mart.)
*Never attack the monsters head on! (Instead steal niche business and lukewarm customers.)
*”Dramatically different.” (La Difference … within our community, our industry regionally, etc … is as obvious as the end of one’s nose!) (THIS IS WHERE MOST MIDGETS COME UP SHORT.)
*Compete on value/experience/intimacy, not price. (You ain’t gonna beat the behemoths on cost-price in 9.99 out of 10 cases.)
*Emotional bond with Clients, Vendors. (BEAT THE BIGGIES ON EMOTION/CONNECTION!!)
*Hands-on, emotional leadership. (“We are a great & cool & intimate & joyful & dramatically different team working to transform our Clients lives via Consistently Incredible Experiences!”)
*A community star! (“Sell” local-ness per se. Sell the hell out of it!)
*An incredible experience, from the first to last moment—and then in the follow-up! (“These guys are cool! They ‘get’ me! They love me!”)
*DESIGN! (“Design” is a premier weapon-in-pursuit-of-the sublime for small-ish enterprises, including the professional services.)
*Employer of choice. (A very cool, well-paid place to work/learning and growth experience in at least the short term … marked by notably progressive policies.) (THIS IS EMINENTLY DO-ABLE!!)
*Sophisticated use of information technology. (Small-“ish” is no excuse for “small aims”/execution in IS/IT!)
*Web-power! (The Web can make very small very big … if the product-service is super-cool and one purposefully masters buzz/viral marketing.)
*Innovative! (Must keep renewing and expanding and revising and re-imagining “the promise” to employees, the customer, the community.)
*Brand-Lovemark* (*Kevin Roberts) Maniacs! (“Branding” is not just for big folks with big budgets. And modest size is actually a Big Advantage in becoming a local-regional-niche “lovemark.”)
*Focus on women-as-clients. (Most don’t. How stupid.)
*Excellence! (A small player … per me … has no right or reason to exist unless they are in Relentless Pursuit of Excellence. One earns the right— one damn day and client experience at a time!— to beat the Big Guys in your chosen niche!)

FYI: Two of my favorite examples, masters of all the above (albeit not midgets), are Canada’s London Drugs (up against Wal*Mart) and the East Coast’s


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