Flank Attack - Meaning & Definition

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: December 10, 2013

What is Flank Attack?

It is a marketing strategy employed by firm to capture the market which is not well served by established players. Flank attack targets competitor’s weak spots.

Large companies offer wide range of products and services. They may not be leader in every category. There are some markets in which they are under performers and thus susceptible to flanking attacks. Flanking company targets this weakness forcing the company to re-allocated the resources to keep the market or end up losing it to flanking company.

Flank attack can be used to replace the competitor’s not so strong product or to serve uncovered needs of the market.

Salient features of flank attack:

  • It does not confront competitors in open
  • Gains market presence stealthily before competitor realizes (surprise element)
  • Follow through once the leading position is established
  • Flank attack does not require new product, but different enough to capture latent needs of the market

Flank attack is generally employed by nimble, innovative business against established players.


Auto-industry in 1970, when Japanese car-makers exploited the vulneblitrity of US car-makers in small, fuel-efficient car segment

In 1980s, Canon took over Xerox’s copier market by focusing on small size copier market that could not afford Xerox’s large copiers.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Flank Attack along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

Continue Reading:

Share this Page on:
Facebook ShareTweetShare on Linkedin