Dueling Products

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Like Dueling Shows or Dueling Movies, sometimes two (or more) items in the market are in direct competition of one another. Like always these products have to be in use at the same time, otherwise it's Follow the Leader or Serial Numbers Filed Off. Also the Console Wars and Computer Wars have their own entries (along with their own dueling category.) It was epic.

Cue banjo music.

Examples of Dueling Products include:
Original Clone Capsule Pitch Description Implementation Winner?
Barbie Bratz Dolls for girls. Barbie was meant to be a revolutionary new way for little girls to play with dolls. Much later, Bratz took the "glamourous" lifestyle and ramped it up to 11. Bratz took the title from Barbie rather resoundingly in terms of sales. Then a copyright lawsuit almost brought Bratz to an end because Bratz's creator was a former Mattel employee.
Coca-Cola Pepsi Cola-flavored, carbonated soft drinks created around the same time. Coca-Cola has typically had more success with a "traditional" audience. Pepsi usually is more successful with younger audiences. From The Other Wiki... According to Beverage Digest's 2008 report on carbonated soft drinks, PepsiCo's U.S. market share is 30.8 percent, while The Coca-Cola Company's is 42.7 percent. Coke lost ground to Pepsi in the late 1960s, but the New Coke fiasco of 1985 and subsequent reintroduction of the original formula catapulted Coke back to the #1 spot, which it holds to this day.
I'm A Mac And I'm A Windows PC. Also, GNU/Linux Personal computers designed, developed, and marketed to users. Apple was the solution for the novice computer hobbyist that became Mac; IBM wanted a more business-friendly version whose OS became Windows. Apple has traditionally been the home of designers; when Apple bought Next, it amalgamated a UNIX core. Microsoft's MS-DOS and Windows were designed for use in businesses, and later, in homes. GNU/Linux (originally just GNU) was developed as a free (as in freedom, not necessarily as in price) replacement for the most widely used (at the time) OS in academia and businesses—UNIX. It later developed as the free OS par excellence with POSIX compatibility a major design feature. Technically ongoing, but Windows still has upwards to 90% market share between all versions, while the Mac usually hovers around the 7% mark. GNU/Linux accounts for 1-2% of the desktops, but most of the servers and supercomputers
Axe/Lynx Tag Body sprays that have had a lot of success marketing to young men and teenagers. "You'll get laid if you spray this on". No winners yet. Only losers who use these products as a replacement for showering (though Axe has more exposure, no pun intended).
LaserDisc Video CD; Capacitance Electronic Disc Early disc-based video systems. LaserDisc hit the market first, and used humongous discs with an analogue data format. CED arrived a few years later (despite having been in development for longer than LaserDisc) and was basically a phonographic disc with video and a protective plastic cover. Video CD was the last to hit, boasting the smallest discs and digital technology, but also had the lowest picture quality (worse than VHS, in fact). None of the formats ever became particularly popular outside of the A/V enthusiast market, though LaserDisc was the most successful overall (especially in Japan). CED crashed and burned pretty hard, losing developers RCA nearly a billion dollars and contributing to the demise of the company in 1986. Video CD never became especially successful outside of a few niche applications (and in Asian countries other than Japan), but its Spiritual Successor, DVD would finally achieve mass-market popularity.
DVD-R(W) DVD+R(W); DVD-RAM Recordable and rewritable DVD formats. DVD-RAM was the first to the market, and had an entirely different design to the other two. DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) were very similar formats, but the latter had some subtle differences that supposedly gave it better back-compatibility with older DVD hardware. A draw between DVD-R(W) and DVD+R(W) -- most manufacturers quickly started producing dual-mode DVD±RW drives, which nullified the differences between the two formats. Most users are still unsure as to why this format war ever started in the first place. DVD-RAM was definitely the least successful of the three; despite being the most technically advanced of the formats, it also suffered much more from compatibility problems than the other two formats.
HD DVD Blu-ray Disc A high definition optical disc format. Toshiba led the design of HD DVD and Sony launched Blu-ray, after the two companies had failed to agree on a common standard. Both formats debuted in 2006, with the first HD DVD discs and players appearing in April and beating Blu-ray rivals by two months. HD DVD equipment and movies initially were cheaper to produce and sell, but Blu-ray discs had more capacity (up to 50 gigabytes versus a 30GB maximum for HD DVD) for video, hi-fi soundtracks and special features. Toshiba discontinued its format on Feb 19, 2008. Three key factors in HD DVD's defeat: Sony securing retailer support over time, Warner Bros. announcing that it would cease HD DVD support on Jan. 4, 2008 (after having been the only movie studio to issue discs in both formats), and finally Wal-Mart announcing exclusive support. The Play Station 3 is assumed to be a factor, although the two other decisions were based on player sales other than the PS3.[1] Conventional wisdom is that in 2006 the public wasn't ready for another new format so soon after DVD, and after two years of format wars and three years of recession they're now looking to abandon physical formats entirely, embracing a digital-download future that the content industry is still scared of (but getting dragged into kicking and screaming anyway...)
Columbia 33 1/3 rpm long-playing record RCA 45 rpm single record Vinyl microgroove discs with better, quieter sound and more durability than shellac-based 78 rpm records. Columbia introduced the 12-inch LP in 1948, but RCA was unwilling to license a competitor's technology and responded with the 7-inch 45 a year later. This battle became a draw, with both formats flourishing for nearly four decades, until compact discs overtook the former and cassettes the latter.
Betamax Video Home System (VHS) Devices to watch movies at home. Marketing books have been written on the subject. Betamax is now synonymous with technological failure in the market, despite having better video/audio quality and durability. See also The Rule of First Adopters.
XM Radio Sirius Radio Revolutionary satellite radio providers. Very similar marketing strategies. So much so that at the launch of this trope there's no a agreed discernible difference yet. Sadly, only losers. Neither company could survive on its own and have now merged (Sirius bought XM if you want to get technical). The future is still murky.
Slanket Snuggie Sweater blankets for those too incompetent to operate one. (Wiki magic?) The Snuggie seems to have more exposure.
Ford Chevrolet Mass-produced cars for regular people. Chevy brought color and variety and forced Ford away from an "as long as it's black" policy toward the frequent model changes that defined the golden age of American cars. Chevy took the sales lead from Ford in the late '20s and held it for most of the rest of the 20th century; fast-forwarding a bit, GM has needed bailout money (now largely paid back) and Ford just barely held on without it. Ford expanded in the '20s by opening branch factories and has long been a worldwide brand, while GM expanded by buying up existing companies (Opel, Holden, etc.) thus only before WW 2 and in the past decade has Chevrolet had much presence outside North America. General Motors required a government bailout during the late 2000s economic crisis, while Ford remained solvent on its own.
British Satellite Broadcasting Sky Television Britain's official satellite TV contractor vs Rupert Murdoch's more downmarket upstart. BSB hoped its superior technology and programming would win viewers, while Sky relied on cheaper equipment and aggressive marketing. In the autumn of 1990, after six months going head-to-head, BSB conceded defeat, its CEO resigned, and it was taken over by Sky. Some of BSB's original investors remained with the new company, now called British Sky Broadcasting.
Sky Digital ONDigital (later ITV Digital), NTL & Blueyonder Digital (later Virgin Media) Subscription-based digital TV delivery systems in the UK, all launching in around 1998. Sky Digital and NTL/Blueyonder were new versions of their existing analogue products, with all previous customers being upgraded to the digital versions by late 2001. ONDigital was an entirely new service based on digital terrestrial technology, and in mid-2001 was rebranded as ITV Digital in a marketing move (ITV already partly owned ONDigital). Sky Digital was virtually guaranteed to win this war from Day 1, due to its existing subscriber base and the Killer App of live Premier League football. NTL/Blueyonder did quite well, though the UK's rather limited cable network correspondingly limited their success. ONDigital barely kept their heads above water from 1998 to 2001, and ITV Digital later became arguably the most notorious corporate failure in UK history, as plummeting subscriber numbers and a vastly overpriced Football League[2] contract saw the company disintegrate spectacularly in early 2002.
Fender Guitars Gibson Guitars Solid-body electric guitars. In the early 1950s, the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster were the two primary solidbody electric guitars on the market. Since then, both companies have expanded their product lineup and landed nearly every big-name guitarist since the 1960s as endorsers. Always going to be a matter of opinion as far as who makes the better product overall, but guitarists in general come out as winners. The difference in their products are significant enough that there's a market for the "Gibson sound" and the "Fender sound", and it's not uncommon to see players who have one of each, and the overwhelming majority of other guitar manufacturers are expanding (or improving) upon Fender or Gibson designs to some degree.
Recipe Secrets America's Most Wanted Recipes Books about cloning brand name foods. Recipe cloning of brand name foods by taking portions home, guessing how much ingredients are needed to make a single serving and the methods required to make it almost like the original. Almost, partly for legal reasons and partly becasue you can't get things like pure commercial-grade HFCS or preservatives in home-use quantities. While Todd Wilbur has a great deal of popularity as early as the '90s as a recipe cloner, Ron Douglas managed to apparently "clone" the 11 herbs and spices in the Original Recipe Chicken, a closely guarded recipe. Wilbur also cloned snack foods which puts him at a higher advantage.
Sham Wow! Zorbeez Super-absorbent towels. While Vince Offer pitched Sham Wow!, Billy Mays took on Zorbeez two years prior. Sham Wow! is more well-known, despite coming out later. According to Popular Mechanics, it is the more effective of the two.
Quick Chop Slap Chop Food choppers. Vince pitched the latter once again, while Billy pitched the former before that. Quick Chop came out first, though the Slap Chop is more well-known.
Smarties M&M's Bite-sized candy-coated chocolate. The latter is made by Mars, while the former is made by Nestlé. Smarties (not to be confused with the fruit-flavored American tablet candy marketed as Rockets elsewhere) are not available in the U.S. except in special import stores. M&M's has more exposure, but Smarties came out first, in 1882 (M&M's in the 1930s).
Zip Drive LS-120 Superdrive; Sony HiFD Floppy drive replacements, with similar-sized disks, but vastly greater capacity. The LS-120 and HiFD were compatible with 3.5" floppies, but the Zip Drive wasn't. Initially the Zip Drive had 100MB of storage, the LS-120 had (surprise) 120MB, and the HiFD had 150MB. Greater-sized versions of all of these would subsequently be released. In truth, none of them; the CD-RW (and, subsequently, USB sticks) took over the market for these drives. Out of the three however, Zip Drive was the only one that could truly claim to be a success. LS-120 never really caught on, and HiFD was an embarrassing failure, after it turned out to have an irreparably flawed design.
Filet-O-Fish Hulaburger McDonald's newest meal that was originally aim to the American Catholic demographic who didn't eat red meat on Friday's, and would instead eat at Big Boy restaurants, which served a fish sandwich. The former was a battered fish patty in a bun with half a slice of processed cheese and tartar sauce made by food inventor Lou Groen, the latter was a sandwich with a pineapple slice on a bun with two pieces of cheese by McDonald's owner Ray Kroc. Interestingly, the latter was only made by Mr. Kroc as he believe the Filet-O-Fish was a stupid idea and his Hulaburger was much better. Unfortunately for Mr. Kroc, he was wrong as the Filet-O-Fish was far more popular than his Hulaburger. To add insult to injury, not only did the Filet-O-Fish was popular to Catholics, but it was also popular with Muslims and non-red meat eaters as well. Today, Filet-O-Fish is still McDonald's most popular meal while the Hulaburger was forgotten like the other McDonald's meals that failed .
Steam Direct2Drive, Impulse, Origin (formerly EA Store), Games for Windows Live marketplace, many others. Internet-based game delivery and content management systems. Steam was the brainchild of Valve, Direct2Drive was created by IGN, Impulse was founded by Stardock, Origin is run by EA, and Games for Windows Live marketplace, unsurprisingly, is run by Microsoft. Steam benefited from having a Killer App in the form of Half-Life 2, and currently holds a commanding lead. Direct2Drive and Impulse squabble over who is in a decent second place (due to conflicting reports on their own share), and the other services scrap it out over the remaining marketshare. While the Games for Windows Live marketplace was predicted to be the Next Big Thing, it ended up being loathed by many gamers, partly for technical issues and being not nearly as well-designed or seamless as Steam, and it has been losing considerable support. Recently EA has been aggressively marketing its new Origin service, to the point of ceasing Steam distribution; early response from gamers has been lackluster, but its Killer App Mass Effect 3 could make it successful.
Xbox Live Arcade Playstation Store, Wii Ware Marketplace "Casual gaming" marketplaces for home gaming consoles. Xbox Live Arcade debuted on the original Xbox, but really took off with the Xbox 360. The other two debuted on the Play Station 3 and Wii respectively, and later expanded their range to include the PlayStation Portable and DSi. Xbox Live Arcade is currently the most successful and has the best overall reputation, likely due to the fact that it was the first out and the Xbox 360 is currently selling better than the Playstation 3. The Playstation Store is also quite successful, albeit not to the same extent. On its own terms the WiiWare Marketplace would be in last place by an embarrassingly huge margin, but as an offshoot to Nintendo's already-successful Virtual Console service, they can probably live with that. That being said, all three services are rapidly losing support from indie developers due to much more open digital distribution services such as the iPhone app store, Steam, Desura, and so on - XBLA has been under fire by developers for years as being much less indie-friendly than it should be - such as ludicrous fees (in the tens of thousands) for patches of all things.
Kindle Nook E-book readers, which are tablet-like devices that display digital versions of books in a smaller, water-resistant form. Amazon came out with their Kindle back in 2007, while Barnes & Noble's Nook came out two years later. Hard to tell at this point, but the Kindle seems to have more exposure.
Oreo Hydrox Chocolate sandwich cookies with cream filling. Sunshine Biscuits rolled out Hydrox back in 1908, while Nabisco produced Oreo four years later. Oreo still thrives today. Hydrox was reformulated as Droxies in 1996, and then discontinued in 2001, only for Kellogg's (which now owns the Sunshine brand) to revive the cookie for a limited time for its 100th anniversary in 2008. Despite the weak sales (and the disinfectant-sounding name), Hydrox still has a strong cult following, and is said to be far superior to Oreo.
Barnes & Noble Borders National bookstore chain with coffee bar. Both also owned smaller mall-based stores (B. Dalton and Waldenbooks, respectively). Barnes & Noble was founded in 1917, Borders in 1971. (B. Dalton was founded in 1966 by Dayton's department store of Minnesota, and was sold Borders in 1986. Waldenbooks began in 1962; both it and Barnes & Noble were bought by Kmart in 1994 and spun off a year later.) While Barnes & Noble closed the B. Dalton division in 2010, the rest of the chain is still doing relatively well. Borders crashed and burned in July 2011, taking the last few Waldenbooks locations with it.
S.S. Kresge F.W. Woolworth National dime store chain. Founded in 1899 and 1879, respectively. Woolworth is the more iconic of the two. Kresge died off in 1987 as the parent company chose to focus more on Kmart (see below), with some stores defecting to the smaller McCrory chain. Woolworth itself hung on until 1997, with its own discount division (Woolco) having only lasted from 1962 to 1980 (except in Canada, where it survived until a 1997 buyout by Walmart). In both cases, former subsidiary chains still exist: Kmart used to own OfficeMax and Sports Authority (along with the now-defunct Builders Square, Payless Drug, Pace Warehouse and, as mentioned above, Borders/Waldenbooks), while Woolworth used to own Foot Locker and Claire's.
Kmart Walmart National-to-international discount retail chain. Both founded in 1962, a year that brought literally dozens of competitors. Walmart is an international monster and shows no signs of stopping. Kmart stores have been dropping like flies since the mid-1990s, including complete withdrawal from some markets such as Canada, Mexico and Alaska.
Costco Sam's Club Warehouse club store; buying a membership allows deep-discount purchasing at your will. Both founded in 1983. A draw. Costco's ahead in revenue, but Walmart-owned Sam's Club beats it in number of locations.
GameStop EB Games International video game chain. EB Games was founded in 1971 as an electronics store; GameStop began in 1984 as Babbage's. GameStop by acquiring several competitors: Software Etc. (owned by B. Dalton), Walden Software (owned by Waldenbooks) and Funco Land, then by acquiring EB Games itself.
Linens 'n Things Bed Bath & Beyond National housewares chain. Linens 'n Things was founed in 1975, Bed Bath & Beyond in 1971. Linens 'n Things closed all of its stores in 2008, but remains as an online retailer. Bed Bath & Beyond still operates over 900 stores.
Circuit City Best Buy National electronics chain. Circuit City began in 1939 as a television store called Wards (no relation to Montgomery Ward) and opened its first electronics store in 1984. The first Best Buy opened in 1983, coming from the ashes of a defunct music store called Sound of Music. Circuit City stores were generally smaller. Circuit City closed all of its stores in 2009 but continues to sell products online. While Best Buy is still hanging in there, there have been sporadic closures while other stores have been reduced in size.
The Home Depot Lowe's Home improvement superstore chains. Home Depot began in Marietta, Georgia in 1978; Lowe's began in North Carolina in 1946 as a traditional hardware format, but adopted the superstore format in the 1980s to compete better against Home Depot. Both in the U.S. and globally, Lowe's ranks second to only Home Depot in number of stores and overall revenue.
HMV Virgin Megastores (later Zavvi), Our Price UK-based record (and later video, DVD and game) retailers. HMV was the first to be formed, springing up in the 1930s, while the other two were founded in the 1960s. HMV by virtue of the "last man standing" rule—Our Price collapsed in the late 1990s after a decade of mismanagement, while Zavvi were taken down by the 2008 collapse of Woolworths, who they used as their exclusive supplier. Odds are that HMV's victory won't count for much however, as they haven't turned a profit in years and are near-universally predicted to be out of business themselves by the end of the current decade at the latest.
Kinder Surprise Toto Hollow chocolate eggs with collectible toys inside. Ferrero (makers of Nutella and Rocher) makes the former, while Nestlé (makers of Butterfinger, Kit Kat, Crunch, etc.) makes the latter. Both are very similar, except the Kinder eggs' shells contain both milk and white chocolate as opposed to Toto's sole milk chocolate. Kinder eggs, at least, are Banned in America due to being "choking hazards" for children. Kinder Surprise due to its widespread exposure.
Oxo Bovril Highly concentrated meat stock that could be made into soup. Oxo was created by German chemist Baron Justus von Liebig, who created the Meat extract method in 1840 and began production in 1866. Bovril was made by Scotsman John Lawson Johnston as resqusted by the French to feed their people during their war with Prussia in 1870. Oxo is still available in Britain and South Africa which the former is where the company that owns the brand in located. Bovril is more popular and recognizable around the world.
Big Boy (sandwich) Big Mac Very similar specialty hamburgers: two beef patties on a three-layer bun, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, and "special sauce" (tartar on the Big Boy, Thousand Island on the Big Mac). The Big Boy was created in 1936 by Big Boy restaurant founder Bob Wian. The Big Mac was created in 1967 by McDonald's franchisee Jim Delligatti, and made standard in all McDonald's restaurants by 1968. The Big Mac. Both hamburgers ultimately depended on the success of their respective restaurants. While the Big Mac is the signature sandwich of the world's largest fast food company, the Big Boy doesn't enjoy anywhere near the success.
  1. This might have been a Pyrrhic Victory, as Wal-Mart has recently announced DVD and Blu-ray movies will not be displayed on aisle caps due to slowing sales.
  2. The divisions below the Premier League, which absolutely no-one was interested in because the supporters of those teams generally tend to go to the matches themselves