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Breakfast Seminar

The Power of Defensive Strategy

Audio and the deck from this presentation may be found below.

We live in a world of intense competition; companies face threats from all parts of the globe. The more profitable your business, the greater the chance you will soon encounter a new competitor.

Join Kellogg Professor Tim Calkins, author of the new book, Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks, for a look at the shadowy world of defensive strategy. He’ll review why defense is so important, how to understand and evaluate competitive threats and how to develop an effective defense plan. He will also explore why companies so often fail to react when new competitors appear.

This presentation is important for people running established businesses. It is also important for people launching new ventures; if you are planning to enter a new market you have to think through how the established players are likely to defend and how you can survive nonetheless.


Tim Calkins is clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He teaches marketing strategy, biomedical marketing and strategic marketing decisions in the full-time, part-time and executive MBA programs. He is co-academic director of Kellogg’s branding program.

Tim has received numerous teaching awards. He received two Kellogg Faculty Impact Awards in 2011 and the Top Professor Award from the Kellogg Executive MBA Program in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2011. He also received the Sidney J. Levy Teaching Award and the Lawrence G. Lavengood Outstanding Professor of the Year Award, the top teaching award at Kellogg.

He is the author of Defending Your Brand: How Smart Companies Use Defensive Strategy to Deal with Competitive Attacks (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) and Breakthrough Marketing Plans (Palgrave Macmillan, 2008 and 2012). He is co-editor of Kellogg on Branding (John Wiley & Sons, 2005).

Tim began his career at the consulting firm Booz Allen and Hamilton, where he worked on strategy and branding projects. He spent almost 11 years at Kraft Foods, where he led businesses including Miracle Whip, Taco Bell, A.1. steak sauce, Seven Seas and DiGiorno.

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