From a consumers point of view; we’ve all got different pockets so the cheaper alternative serves as a ‘close to’ purchase option. More importantly, when budget dictates, the consumer can still visually navigate to the right product. Although some believe that the design of some budget brands could be viewed as pure plagiarism and a way of tricking the consumer into thinking you have the same deal for a good deal cheaper, consumers often opt to buy an discount brand to be cost effective, but concede that they are not getting the real mcoy so to speak, so are therefore trading-down through an intended conscious choice.
From a brands perspective there’s an inevitable knock on effect to the bigger brand as consumers trade down, but there’s also the view that the cheap option serves to make the original look more authentic, appetizing and “the real deal!” As discount brands are perceived to be sub-quality, they could serve to highlight how good the REAL brands actually are. Therefore, launching discount equivalents to Marmite (and the like) serves in elevating the brands premium status. Most people have heard rumors that discount brands are nearly exactly the same ingredients, but have you tasted Heinz compared to any other imitation? Some believe there are secret ingredients involved!
Thanks to Adam L, Emma N, Andy L, Rhona O'L, and Christian B for contributing the content of this post.