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How are insurgent brands winning disproportionately in Consumer Products?

Bain & Co define Insurgent brands as those with sales of $25 million+ and outgrowing their category 10 X. Their research (Mar 2022) found

Insurgent brands “account for just 2%-3% of market share in the categories they have disrupted, (but) they’ve captured 25% or more of the growth.”

They partnered with Dynata research agency to do a study on more than 13,000 US consumers for about 75 brands across 10 consumer goods categories on what underpins value. They determined four categories:

  1. functional

  2. emotional

  3. life-changing

  4. global impact

They learnt that most brands deliver on the more fundamental “elements of quality and sensory appeal, and many differentiate through other functional and emotional elements. However, few brands—under 5%—go beyond to deliver on the higher order life-changing and global impact elements.”

While harder to do, delivering on more elements, particularly higher order ones, strengthens results:

  • Brands delivering on 4+ elements grew ~3X revenue of those delivering one or no attributes.

  • Brands scoring on top pyramid elements of life-changing and global impact grew nearly 5X those scoring lowest

  • Insurgent brands scoring highest on Sustainability grew revenue 2X compared with other insurgents

Essentially, insurgents’ success is based on their very strong consumer-centricity: “At their core, winning insurgent brands disrupt by offering superior products and experiences that fulfill a true consumer need, often with a strong founder-led story … They are more responsive to consumer feedback and empowered to act on it … and build vocal communities of advocates actively engaged with the brand, enabling the brand to gain traction and create the proof points required to scale.”

While larger brands / companies may have fallen behind in growth, they can regain ground by adopting similar strategies to truly put their consumers first and demonstrating clear purpose and value.


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