Watching Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal bash it out at the World Tour Finals today left no doubt in my mind that tennis is the beneficiary.
Mind you, tennis is just entertainment. Do rivalries between businesses stimulate interest in product categories? Are they any good for the companies themselves?
They do and they are. Rivalries drive creativity, product innovation, sales success and consumer interest.
Coke and Pepsi’s rivalry went through the roof in the 80’s, paving the way for massive growth and diversification by the two fizzy pop giants. Think McDonald’s versus Burger King, Ford versus GM, Nike versus Reebok. Hell, Playboy versus Penthouse.
Competition is not merely good for businesses, it’s essential. Intense rivalries bring better products, cheaper prices and (wait for it) – better advertising – to the consumer.
Monopoly is the beast to be feared. It brings complacency, inflated costs and a constant inward focus. Monopolistic companies always seem to complain the loudest about how difficult it is to be them.
So it’s good that Roger finally beat Rafael again. Everybody wins.