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.
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.
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