DEFINITION of 'Lanchester Strategy'

A war strategy that has been successfully applied in the business context to entering new markets. The strategy is named after British engineer Frederick W. Lanchester, who published the laws governing the war strategy in a landmark publication titled "Aviation in Warfare: The Dawn of the Fourth Arm" in 1916. In business, the strategy is typically used to choose market types for new and existing businesses, in an attempt to find the easiest markets to penetrate.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lanchester Strategy'

Lanchester's laws were implemented in successful war strategies by the Allies in World War II. After World War II, renowned quality expert Edward Deming applied the laws into operations research. The Lanchester Strategy was introduced in Japan in the 1950s and popularized by Japanese consultant Nobuo Taoka in the 1960s. The Lanchester Strategy was increasingly used to capture market share, with Canon being one of the first companies to utilize the strategy globally during its fierce battle with Xerox in the photocopier market in the 1970s and 1980s.

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