Let’s say you are a large Japanese car company. You know you have the superior product. Your worldwide reputation for quality and longevity are unmatched. Your mileage is better than your competitors. You focused on what the market wanted, investing early into “green(er)” technology in cars. Because sales are high, your employees’ morale is excellent. You don’t have to battle labor unions so your profits are greater than your competitor. You are the larger, stealthier older brother monkey who has slowly snuck up on the smaller monkey.

The poor little American car company is sitting on the edge of the pond, surveying the bleak outlook. Sales are down and negotiating thousands of severance packages is time-consuming and expensive, and your finances are a mess.

Late in the first decade of the 21st century, this was the automobile marketplace. Here is where the analogy to today’s video ends, however. Due to a couple of costly recalls for Toyota and some restructuring and rallying from GM, the opportunity to shove the smaller monkey into the pond passed, and GM maintained its status of having the highest annual automobile sales worldwide for over three quarters of a century.

All of this amounts to a simple fact. When you’re in a competitive business situation, be attuned to the marketplace. There might come a time when with one small push, you can become the industry leader. Or if you’re on the edge, be aware. Change your course by cutting costs, extending brands and lines. Don’t sit still.

(We’ll not discuss the mama monkey and how she could represent the government bailout.)  Know your marketplace or you might get wet!