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Introduction

This article explores insights from new research into the threat to big brands of attack by small 'insurgent' brands. The research was carried out by the brandgym in May/June 2018 via a global quantitative survey of over 100 senior marketing professionals and research with 800 consumers in France, UK, India and the USA.

  • Look beyond the hype and hysteria: small brands are a threat to big brands, but media hype and headlines focus narrowly on North America and the food category in particular. In reality, insurgent threat varies by category and by country.
  • Be inspired by the insurgents: new small brands are delivering a wake-up call to big brands that have become complacent and too focused on cost-cutting. Big brands need to re-focus on consumer insight and ‘demand-led growth’, responding rapidly to emerging needs.
  • Remember and refresh what made you famous: big brands should look back and look forward to craft a sharpened brand positioning to focus investment and inspire a revitalised mix.
  • Re-discover the advantages of scale: small brands may be more agile, but big brands must more effectively leverage their advantage, scale, to drive reach and create unique ‘ecosystems’ that blend products, experiences and digital services into unbeatable offers.

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