Let’s talk about challenger brands and their leaders, because challenger brands need challenger brand leaders and challenger brand partners to win. What we have learned over our 40 years is that the way challenger brands behave in the marketplace decides their future success or failure.
Symbols of re-evaluation
Challenger brands need to get noticed. They won’t get noticed because of the massive amounts of money they spend (because they don’t typically spend massive amounts of money). They get noticed by offering something different than the category leader. No navel gazing here. Keep it simple, important and relevant, otherwise the consumer will follow their normal autopilot behavior and reach right past your brand for the category leader.
Challenger Brands live on love. They don’t rely strictly on the rationale benefits or the badge value of category leaders. They are more relevant. They get the real you. You like having them as a friend, because you can rely on them, and because of that, you introduce them to your friends. That’s how challenger brands grow!
Challenger Brands are true through and through. Your every interaction with them, a customer service experience, the tone of voice of an ad, their social feed… they all come from the same place. The same heart and head.
This is the glue that holds everything together. You can’t do the other three without this fourth behavior. You need to be willing to not do things, in order to focus on what you do really well.