How complimenting a competitor can increase a business’s income

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Researchers at Duke University and the University of Wisconsin-lwaukee have published a new paper in the Marketing Journal which explores what happens when brands communicate positively to their competitors.

On the day Nintendo launched the Switch gaming system, Xbox and PlayStation took a surprising step: they publicly praised Nintendo on Twitter. Brands usually avoid complimenting their competition because they don’t want to offer free advertising to a rival brand. However, the response to this has been positive. The posts generated a significant number of likes and retweets for Xbox and PlayStation. Indeed, these compliments generated on average more than ten times more likes and retweets for the brands than their usual content.

The research team has conducted nearly a dozen experiments that show that a brand that compliments a competitor ends up boosting its own reputation and sales. Early experiences compared a brand complimenting a competitor, known as “brand-to-brand praise”, to traditional brand communication, such as self-promotion messages or informational content. The results showed that brand-to-brand praise does indeed reinforce preferences for the praising brand. In one particular experiment, half of the attendees were shown a fictional tweet in which Kit Kat complimented a top contender, Twix (“@twix, competitor or not, congratulations on your 54 years in business! Even we can admit that Twix are delicious “). The other half of the participants saw a tweet in which Kit Kat mentioned his own products (“Start your day with a treat!”). After 11 days, participants reported any candy purchases since the study ended. Zhou says that “Those who saw the tweet in which Kit Kat praised Twix bought Kit Kat 34% more often than those who saw Kit Kat’s tweet about his own product. of Twix haven’t increased, even after Kit Kat called Twix delicious. ”

Next, the researchers sought to gain a better understanding of why brand-to-brand praise had more positive consequences for the rental company. As Du explains, “Through our subsequent studies, we found that the brand was seen as ‘warmer’, meaning it was seen as friendlier and more trustworthy, after complimenting a competitor. that warmth that drives favorable results for the lessor. results that include greater commitment to the brand and higher sales. ”

The study also revealed when brand-to-brand praise is most effective. Certain types of consumers and certain types of brands are most likely to benefit. When it comes to consumers, skeptical consumers actually react most positively to the brand’s praise. When consumers read a tweet from Lyft praising rival company Uber (“@Uber Congratulations on all your accomplishments this past year!”), Skeptical consumers showed the biggest increase in attitudes towards the rental company. , apparently disarmed by the praise. When it comes to brands, brand-to-brand praise has the greatest effect on organizations that are traditionally not seen as warm or caring, such as for-profit brands.

Finally, the study found that praising a competitor will only be effective if it is done authentically. “Praise that seems spurious or is not seen as risky will not be accepted as a meaningful indicator of warmth. In one experiment, we demonstrated that by observing praise for a non-competing brand, especially an eyewear brand complimenting a brand that would not be seen as risky behavior, consumers did not assess more. positive from the eyewear brand, ”says Cutright.

While praising the competition seems to go against popular belief, this research shows that it can lead to many positive results for the praising brand. With the rise of social media in the digital age, brands can now easily communicate with each other and be observed by consumers. Managers may want to capitalize on this opportunity by using brand-to-brand praise as a way to foster a warmer brand image and produce more positive consequences downstream.


Brands can boost their own reputation and sales by praising their rivals


More information:
Lingrui Zhou et al, EXPRESS: Befriending the Enemy: The Effects of Watching Brand-to-Brand Praise on Consumer Ratings and Choices, Marketing Journal (2021). DOI: 10.1177 / 00222429211053002

Provided by the American Marketing Association


Quote: Praise That Kills: How Complimenting A Competitor Can Generate A Business Income (2021, November 18) retrieved November 18, 2021 from https://phys.org/news/2021-11-complimenting-competitor-firm-revenues .html

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