Study Finds “Big Brands” Increasingly Vunerable to “Insurgents”

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A new study from Clear M&C Saatchi uncovers the potential financial risks legacy brands face by ignoring changing consumer values.

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"[In CPG], an estimated $108 billion of category value is at risk from insurgent brands in the US alone." - Ruth Ingrum, Sr. Director of CPG, Clear US

A recent study from Clear M&C Saatchi found that brand loyalty isn’t what it once was. In extensive interviews with over 2,500 consumers in 2 countries, focusing on 19 categories and 200 brands, Clear found that 86% of US consumers (83% in the UK) seek out brands based on their attributes rather than their status – regardless of category. This is approximately a 15% (11% in the UK) increase over the last 6 years.

The report details how “insurgent brands” are disrrupting markets and putting even the most established brands at risk for losing a significant share of their consumer base.

Clear US Managing Director, Michael Weber, said, “‘Grow or die’ is no longer a mantra thrown around by organizations, it’s a reality. Category disruption is an everyday occurrence, in many cases due to more artisanal, local, and craft brands. Now, more than ever, large, global brands facing consumer-led challenges must have a clear strategy to recognize vulnerability and use it to their advantage.”

The overall study helps big brands in every category view their level of risk from “insurgent brands”. For instance, Clear’s report values the chocolate industry to be at risk of losing $8.8 billion in the US and £3.3 billion in the UK, to these small, more nimble brands, to cite one example.

“In the rapidly fragmenting world of consumer goods, how can big retain its appeal? By isolating categories most ‘vulnerable’ to disruption from insurgents, this report helps identify tools that category giants have at their disposal to fight back. With an estimated $108 billion of category value at risk from insurgent brands in the US alone, category Giants can no longer be passive when it comes to on-going relevance in the eyes of their consumers,” said Ruth Ingram, Senior Director of CPG, Clear US.

Highlights of the report can be found in two articles on the Clear blog (, and a free copy of the detailed study can be obtained by contacting Clear.

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