Having competition does not mean less for you, rather it becomes a question of how much more you can do! Yes, competition can be overwhelming but it also forces you to bring out your best creative side to rise to the top. Sometimes this struggle with a brand’s competition takes the form of a brand rivalry, meaning that the two brands are now acknowledged challengers to each other’s products as those products or services are similar (in a way).
Brand rivalries are very engaging for the audience. They humanise the brands, make great stories, they entertain and increase awareness (let’s remember India VS Pakistan matches- they’re not brands, but now you can feel the fire of having a rival). People love to watch and read about what one brand is doing to answer another’s mockery or just for fun. Here are some of the biggest brand rivalries that have taught marketers many lessons through the decades.
1. Nike and Adidas
The global athletic shoes market is predicted to rise to $88 billion by 2024 and there are several brands fighting for the profits. Nike and Adidas are the two top dogs for the game, continuously coming up with innovative upgrades in their products and banking on popular world affairs to grab the rewards. A significant point in this rivalry was Rapper and pop icon, Kanye West’s switch from a partnership with Nike to a partnership with Adidas. But all Nike did was innovate their strategy and moved to sponsor Paris Saint Germain Football Club while spotlighting their superstars Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
2. Godrej and Ikea
When Ikea entered the Indian market Godrej Interio suddenly had an internationally recognised competitor to deal with. The brand decided to use sarcastic but straight forward communication to distinguish itself from the competitor and highlighted the extra benefits for choosing them over the competitor.
3. The Hindu and Times Of India
Two of the most read newspapers in India hadn’t always been at each other’s throats, until Times played a card to increase its audience base in the southern parts of India. The brand launched a campaign stating that The Hindu was a boring newspaper to read. The accused didn’t keep mum for long and rose up with one of the greatest comebacks of all time. They released a series of ads- print, digital and TV that showed how Times of India was banking on Bollywood gossip and rumours to entertain their readers, instead of facts. One right step kept The Hindu “ahead of the times”.
4. Android and IOS
Need we say that once a person fixates on either software they don’t want to switch? Android users are proud to be buying good technology and great features at lower cost. Whereas, Apple’s buyers flaunt their love for original and latest technology which you can’t put a price on. The argument has come to a never ending battle of trust and tech that seems to have no definite answer. But both technologies are progressing at a commendable rate to stay ahead of each other. A glimpse of this rivalry can be seen in an old advertisement by Blackberry and its counter answer by Apple.
5. Mc Donald’s and Burger King
The iconic rivalry of these two brands is not unknown to anyone. Burger king takes a shot at Mc Donald’s every Halloween and literally every time they make the slightest slip. This rivalry has however earned both brands enormous recognition and sales. But they don’t always want to make war- Burger king offered to combine their whopper with MC Donald’s Big mac to form a special Mc Whopper for world peace day in 2016. The thought didn’t turn into reality but the profits were quite real. The video below has a sneak peek of what went down.
Brand rivalries are a bittersweet way for each business to stay in the race with their competitors. It does take time and effort but the gain is worth the pain. A better way of engaging with your competitors or fellow brands are brand banters which are quite popular on social media these days. One can try to leverage such opportunities and build a better presence for their brand.