Competition, rivalry, eternal race.
Competition, rivalry, eternal race. We were entertained by it in cartoons, in movies, and we are especially pleased when big brands jump into this fantastic fight ring.
Competition creates genius stories, after all, some such battles have changed the world. Perhaps the whole communication revolution would have gone completely different if the MCI, then just a little startup, did not challenge the great AT&T, or that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates did not fight for entirely different visions of computing.
The competitive spirit is still crucial, and platforms for such combats are more accessible than ever before. CEOs are now getting involved in Twitter conflicts, Community Managers are battling on behalf of their clients for visibility on social networks, and creative directors are creating new ways that will (wittily) "attack" their client's competing brand.
But if this competition fight is done right, it can greatly improve performance and increase brand awareness, for both brands. Strong competition is one of the main principles of marketing. And the stronger the competition, the stronger we are (with new creative ideas for “attacking” back).
After all, what would Batman be without the Joker, or Tom without Jerry? A hero is defined by his opponent. The stronger the opponent, the better the hero. Because they don’t exist without one another.
“I don’t wanna kill you, what would I do without you? Go back to rippin’ off mob dealers… no, no, no… no you, you complete me.“ The Joker
Whether it's the McDonald's fight against Burger King for the best fast-food chain, Visa and MasterCard for the best credit card, or Fender against Gibson for the biggest guitar brand - both brands always benefit from rivalry.
When competing brands continuously invest in resources to drive brand awareness of a particular product or service, awareness of that product or service generally increases. And that's good for anyone who provides that product or service - "when the tide is rising, it’s lifting all ships," says the old folk.
And, at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter to McDonald's whether it "donates" a few burgers to Burger King, and vice versa. A bigger problem for both brands could be in the case of a decline in general interest (and demand) for fast food. Which means that both brands have to make a significant effort to boost their brand marketing, even if it means that customers occasionally spill over into each other's territory.