Larry Bird and Magic Johnson -- two fierce rivals in one of basketball's most storied eras. The documentary "Magic & Bird -- A Courtship of Rivals" highlights how the two studied, thought about and obsessed over each other's performance. Who put in more hours of practice each day? Who had the better weekly game stats? Who won the most MVP honors?
As humans, it's natural to set our eyes and minds upon direct competitors to help shape our own aspirations and behavior. The same holds true for brands (which we often forget are made up of individual humans). American Airlines and United. Nike and Adidas. McDonald's and Burger King. We expect these brands to wonder what the other guy is up to. It is, in a sense, "keeping up with the Joneses" at the highest level.