Achilles’ heel and the arrow of prince Paris

Ngày: 16-12-2014


In Greek mythology, Achilles is the greatest warrior. His mother, Thetis tried to make him immortal by dipping him into the river Styx. However, his heel by which she held him was left vulnerable because of not being dip. In the Trojan war, no one could defeat Achilles because they failed to find his point of weakness. Eventually, Prince Paris (the brother of Hector who was killed by Achilles) successfully revenged for his brother by shooting a poisoned arrow to Achilles’ heel.


The term “Achilles’ heel” refers to the point of weakness (that is hard to find) of the leaders. “Achilles’ heel” means that there is no absolute power. Any champion must have an even smallest point of weakness. The task of the others is to find that point and attack it.


However, in branding, there is a contrary principle: it is no need to find Achilles’ heel in the body of the leaders, instead, do attack the “heel” of the their best strength.


Burger King is famous for its slogan “Have it your way” which helps Burger King successfully savor the share from the market leader Mc Donald’s. One of Mc Donald’s strengths is its speed. Speed is business nature that is highly appreciated when coming to any fast food restaurant. McDonald’s is excellent at this point because its service system is optimized to serve customers as fast as possible.


In other words, come to McDonald’s if you are in a hurry.


Burger King’s “Have it your way” was born to attack this valuable strength of McDonald’s. When you are fast, you can not customize the customers’ needs. The message of Burger King: Choose fruit, choose salad, we are not confused by your special orders, all we want is to serve you your way.


In short, come to Burger King if you want a customized burger.


“Have it your way” is a great slogan itself. Is there anybody doesn’t like doing something on their own way? Despite this, Burger King’s “Have it your way” is hard to succeed if it doesn’t stand in the upside position of McDonald’s “speed”. Burger King attacked the weakest of the strongest in McDonald’s fast food restaurant chains: Unable to customize because of speed priority. In other words, Burger Kind deliberately shoot to the “bulletproof” part of McDonald’s.


In Vietnam, Viettel’s “Say it your way” was noisily introduced to the market. However, the successful reason of Viettel’s “Say it your way” differs from Burger King’ s “Have it your way”. Vinaphone and Mobifone are Viettel’s competitors. Services of these two state-owned giants are bureaucratic and slow. Viettel’s slogan “Say it your way” targets to more caring customer care. In flowery words, Viettel shot an arrow to “Achilles’ heel” of two leaders. In fact, Vinaphone and Mobifone have more than one or even many “Achilles’ heel” upon every customer’s perception. Thus, Viettel’s “Say it your way” arrow is more deathly.


The Prince Paris defeated Achilles by finding his deathly point of weakness in his heel. It is very difficult to find the weakness of the leaders. In the fair and fierce competition, stop dreaming of “lovely” leaders like Vinaphone and Mobifone (now they, of course, are less lovely by service quality improvements). For strong leaders, shoot to their best strength like the way Burger King attacked McDonald’s.


Certainly,the arrow must be sharp enough to shoot the bulletproof body. They are the intelligent, creative and “dangerous” arrows of concepts.


The arrow of Prince Paris: do you have it?


Nguyen Duc Son

Richard Moore Associates



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