chapter  5
17 Pages


ByJonathan David Lewis

One of the common self-deceptions a savage brand falls into is the belief that success is a zero-sum game. A notable example of zero-sum in game theory is Matching Pennies. Matching Pennies is a contest in which two players are each given a penny and told to turn them over at the same time. One method to move beyond zero-sum cultures is to recast internal success as a choice between individual mediocrity and mutual gain. Fundamentally, management teams in the brand wilderness face a choice between two eventual outcomes: mutual gain or mutually assured mediocrity. The list of brands suffering from Savage Equilibrium is long and ignominious and has included IBM, Kodak, Staples, Blockbuster, and many more. In the Noble and Savage paradigm, every employee decision is either moving the organization toward Noble Equilibrium or toward Savage Equilibrium. Savage Equilibrium comes about in many ways, and often the more extreme the situation, the pettier the stalemate.