What Is Battle of the Brands?

Daniel Liden

"Battle of the brands" is a term used to describe a situation in which two companies are in intense direct competition for the share of a certain market. In general, the competition surrounds two identical or highly similar products of different brands. Often, the "battle" only relates to the brand itself, as the differences between the products are insignificant. In other cases, the product differences are subtle but significant enough that consumers may prefer one to the other. The "battle" of the battle of the brands generally occurs through advertising, by which each company tries to convince consumers that its product is, for whatever reason, superior to the competition.

Businessman giving a thumbs-up
Businessman giving a thumbs-up

Brand identity is one important aspect of the battle of the brands, as consumers need to actually care about the brands to intentionally purchase one over the other. The brand identity is made up of the name and aesthetic of the product, and is, overall, the way in which the consumer sees the product. The presence of strongly-defined brands in a given market niche generally causes the consumer to see a choice instead of simply taking the cheapest or closest option. A battle of the brands occurs when two or more products associated with strong, recognizable brand identities seek to gain the dominant share of a particular market niche.

Businesses use a variety of different "weapons" in the battle of the brands. They may, for instance, try to undercut the prices of their competitors by offering special deals or simply by offering their products at lower prices. This is often impractical, though, as similar products in a given market niche often have very similar prices because their production costs are so similar. Businesses may also offer incentives to retailers willing to give premium shelf space to their products. The most significant part of the battle of the brands, however, is fought through advertising.

Advertising is the most visible of the many ways that businesses establish brand identities and communicate the benefits of their products to potential consumers. Through advertising, businesses attempt to show that their brands fit in with a particular lifestyle or that they are, for whatever reason, somehow better than the competition. In some cases, advertisements actually target other businesses and brands, and use the other brands' faults as selling points instead of or in addition to the merits of the advertising business's brand.

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