6 Digital Secrets Challenger Brands Use To Drive Growth

Big brands tend to use traditional media, like TV, print, OOH and radio to fulfill their upper funnel/awareness needs, and use digital media, like videos, banners and social for the mid-funnel/engagement and lower funnel/transactional needs.

Challenger brands don’t have the budgets to live this life of luxury. (Many are 100% digital!)

How do they use digital to build their brands and drive growth?

Here are some of their secrets:

  1. Their messaging is focused on the consumer. Even for very mission-driven brands, challenger brands focus their message on how they fit into their customer’s life and make it better. Not in a cheesy product-demo way. Not an over-promise, change-the-world kind of way either.They make their role and the consumer’s role in accomplishing that mission clear, real and relevant. In their messaging, they favor authentic over aspirational.
  2. When, where and how they deliver their message in the cluttered digital world takes the consumer’s mind-set into consideration. They take fullest advantage of technology and data to ensure they are targeting their best consumer prospects at the best possible time with the most relevant message.Once they determine the best combination of media and message, they do more of it, and continue to try other combinations. They always seek to improve their KPIs.
  3. Digital video is used to build brand awareness and tell the brand’s story in ways that build an emotional connection. Not in a one-and-done, 30-second TV way. Digital video is consumed in a much more active way than TV, so the message needs to be more meaningful and valuable.
  4. Banners can cost-effectively maintain top-of-mind awareness. They have a low CPM and can be targeted to reinforce relevant key benefits or points of differentiation relevant to that target audience.
  5. Social offers a lot of flexibility, but it’s best at upper and mid-funnel. Use it to humanize your brand and fit it into the fabric of peoples’ lives: functionally, emotionally and culturally. Also, you don’t have to be the only messenger; use credible influencers and consumers. They extend your reach and add credibility to your message.
  6. Most important, be consistent. The reason challenger brands can tell their story in lots of bite-size (cost-efficient) pieces is because their brands are consistent, conceptually and visually, and they carry it through every touchpoint. It makes a difference, both in the effectiveness of each execution and in creating a contemporary brand.

GKV is proud to be named one of the Best Digital Marketing Agencies by Design Rush.

Garry Raim

Partner, Executive Vice President

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