It’s a fact of life that your brand is more than likely at some point or another, going to suffer the blow of an attack from a competitor. But what you do next and how you handle this attack will either make you or break you. This decision will more than likely permanently label your brand. Do you ignore these attacks? Do you retaliate? Just how do you handle an attack from another brand — after the initial shock and sting wears off of the actual attack itself, of course?
What Not to Do when Your Brand is Attacked
Ignoring such attacks are definitely the wrong thing to do in this situation, but is typically the reaction from many brands. Because they’re thrown off by the attack, don’t know what to do and assume that it’s best to just ignore it and go on as “business-as-usual.”
But this complacency could lead to the downfall of your business, because consumers will now view your business and brand as weak in comparison to your competitor. You’ll want to stand your ground and strike back. In Mark Di Somma’s article “When other brands attack: 5 reasons to defend yourself” he explores the following tactics:
Results of ignoring an attack on your brand can:
- make you appear weak in comparison to your competitor,
- sends a message to your customers that you “don’t care” about their loyalty,”
- permanently label your brand and ruin your brands reputation,
- and it makes it harder to defend your brand later, if you wait too long.
How to Bounce Back from an Attack on Your Brand
The universal approach to a brand surviving an attack seems to lie in the four R’s.
When redirecting, you want to change the focus of an attack on your brand by appearing strong in the face of your competitor’s attack. To refute is to deny allegations made by your competitor. You know, maybe they said that their burgers are better than your burgers. Maybe their cola is more satisfying. In a world-wide taste challenge, consumers preferred their fries over yours. Things like that. You get the picture. You’ll want to refute their “facts.”
To reposition yourself is to change how your brand is now perceived in the market. And lastly, remind your customers why they should remain loyal to you and why you’re such a valuable asset to them historically speaking. Remind them with your brand’s longstanding and long-running history. And play on your brands strong points and most valuable assets — the things that your customers love the most about your brand. Remind them.
7 Brand Attack Rules of Engagement
One of the things you’ll want to avoid is actually calling out another brand by name. This can actually make you look bad and desperate. You’ll want to refute their claims but not call them out. And here’s how you should handle that situation professionally.
- As stated above, avoid confrontation with your rival. You’re not fighting with them. You’re fighting to keep your customers and for more customers.
- Be optimistic and light-hearted.
- Avoid rude behavior but be assertive.
- Use a variety of advertising methods to get your point across to your customers and to reach a wider audience.
- Focus on the strengths of your brand and not the competitors weaknesses.
- Truly make a commitment to seeing this through.
- Set a timeline for yourself and a budget as well. Continue to make assessments and make adjustments to your plan of action as needed.
The results of defending your brands honor typically bring change with both brands in cases like these. But positive change for the better…