Most people like to see the underdog triumph, especially when they’re not invested in the outcome.

There’s huge stigma attached to being an underdog, to escape the ineluctable eddy of the also rans and vault the barrier into the winners’ circle. It’s not simply the statistical mountain you have to scale. And it’s not only the story of the plucky small team and its fan.

No, it’s the psychology of winner versus underdog that’s the hardest to overcome, at least in the opinion of this blogger. It spreads out like a virus, infecting referees and fans alike. You see it in sports, where referees seem subconsciously swayed – at least I hope it’s subconscious – to give the big clubs the edge in the key decisions. Big club refereeing, my Dad used to call it.

People like to be in the safe bosom of voting to stay with the big dog, whether they care to admit it or not. It’s no different in business either. The person who make a significant purchase on behalf of the company knows that they’ll probably escape any blame by going with the big supplier. They haven’t stuck their neck out. This is what the underdog supplier is up against, and what the underdog supplier needs to work doubly hard to overcome.

It’s not so much Stockholm syndrome as stock hold syndrome…

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