Double jeopardy law and digital media


The “double jeopardy” principle for brands affirms that market penetration (or market share) and loyalty (or frequency to buy) are strongly related. Large brands have a double advantage: they enjoy more customers (first jeopardy) and more brand loyalty/buying frequency (second jeopardy).

Double jeopardy and smartphones
Double jeopardy law and smartphones, Byron Sharp

One of the main consequences is that brands need reach. Small brands who want to grow need to recruit more light category buyers and in order to do so, they have to reach them. And this might gives some directions if you are going to trade reach vs. engagement.

Also, it clarifies why you should go for a ‘sophisticated’ mass (your entire category) instead of a hyper-targeted audience, unless you are planning a specific activation campaign which will give you some relief with quarterly sales pipeline, but will not help with long-term sustainable growth.

What I found interesting is that media (including digital) follow the double jeopardy principle. Large media attract bigger audiences, who use them more (first jeopardy) and more often (second jeopardy). Small media/social platforms tend to attract heavy users who probably have been already reached by your campaign on large media.

That’s why we should aim to target unduplicated audiences when we plan a multi-media/multi-channel campaign.

Note: the main source of this post/summary is the research done by Byron Sharp and Jenni Romaniuk and their book “How Brands Grow 2”.

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