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When and how to use a “fighter brand” to combat a low-price entry

Daniel Deneffe (Hult International Business School in Cambridge, MA, USA)
Herman Vantrappen (Brussels ( They are co-authors of Fad-Free Strategy: Rigorous Methods to Help Executives Make Strategic Choices Confidently (2020))

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 28 February 2022

Issue publication date: 16 March 2022




Managers have become wary of launching fighter brands. But they should not give up on a fighter brand strategy altogether: under certain conditions a fighter brand can be effective, if it is correctly positioned.


The authors’ decision-making framework to help managers think through the specific design of a fighter brand is supported by field experience in designing and successfully launching fighter brands. 10; The framework takes managers through four steps. 10;


A fighter brand can be designed to combat, and ideally eliminate, low-price competitors while protecting an organization’s premium-price offerings.

Practical implications

Identifying must-have features “must-haves” is at the core of the fighter brand framework.


If a company’s strategists can identify at least one unique must-have feature for the value segment with high certainty, and remove it from the fighter brand targeted at the price segment, the risk of cannibalization is minimal.


Deneffe, D. and Vantrappen, H. (2022), "When and how to use a “fighter brand” to combat a low-price entry", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 50 No. 2, pp. 21-26.



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