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‘For each action there is an equal and opposite reaction’; Isaac Newton’s famous quote is based in science but has as much impact in branding.

The Sneaker Wars raged in the mid-80s. UK giant Reebok released their new ‘Pump’ shoes and sent nemesis Nike scrambling as market share fell. Nike knew they had to react, they explored the Reebok product in depth and reverse engineered its key strengths, creating the Nike Air. They knew Reebok were first to the store shelves so they brought out a big star to tout their new shoe – Michael Jordan. They took Reebok’s idea of additional cushioned support and improved it with lightweight materials – then added celebrity endorsement and won the battle. Action. Reaction.

Science, yes; but as important for branding, and especially relevant for great radio stations and morning shows. Another way to consider it, every strength is also a weakness and every weakness is actually also a strength.

Know your positives but understand how they are also negatives. And instead of lamenting your weaknesses, look at them differently and identify how they are also strengths. This works for your competition too. Intimately know your rival’s strengths and find ways to pivot the message and isolate them as Achilles’ heels. Big radio companies may have large resource stockpiles of executives with high radio IQs or seemingly endless promo budgets but are often slow and hogtied by process – a strength becomes a weakness. And so on.

It redefines your perspective.

Looking at your strengths and weaknesses differently sure complicates a board room SWOT session but it will be worth your while and could unlock something powerful.