The business world that many once loved has changed completely. This is mainly due to the evolution of technology which has seen a plethora of challenger brands that have connected with their audiences on a much deeper level. That’s not to say that technology is the main culprit for the rise of challenger brands, new innovative thinkers have been stepping forward and altering business strategies for decades to come.
What is a Challenger Brand?
Challenger brands aren’t necessarily challenging bigger competition, they’re challenging the market norm, they’re a brand whose motivation is a relationship with their customer with a focus on a vision that goes above and beyond their means. They’re bold, innovative and different.
In 2018 challenger brands have exploded with many start-ups, and even larger, more established brands adopting a new idea of how they feel things should be done.
•They’re not always savvy startups
•They’re not always a small underdog
How to be a Challenger Brand
So how do you become a challenger brand? It’s not something that can be told through storytelling as efficiently as ‘heritage branding’. A brand needs the concept first to create the actuality of it.
Challenger brands define exactly what they want to achieve and how they intend to change the marketplace and the strategies they need to use to reach those goals.
Like all brand purpose, you need to know your own values and what you stand for, and against, and where you’re going to place yourself within the industry. Take Monzo, they stepped in as a no-nonsense bank that is changing people’s relationship with money. Monzo goes above and beyond for their customer, they're.
Be Different with a Focus
Create a message that’s unique. Many audiences will be exposed to a plethora of brands stating how different they are. Thinking differently and acting differently is essential to improving your chances of gaining attention.
It’s taking on the world in a big way and providing a big difference rather than a slight one. It’s about providing a service that truly goes above and beyond anything done before.
Notably, brands like Body Shop and Lush have morphed themselves into challenger brands by taking on how they approach the way in which they produce products in regards to the environment and animal cruelty.
Lush's "Discover: Packagaing Free Products" marketing campaign has taken off in a big way and Body Shop's "Forever Against Animal Testing" as caught the attention of 8 million people who have signed a petition to stop animal testing permanently.
The issue of animal cruelty and package free products is something that many customers emotionally connect to, therefore, listening to what the customer wanted has helped these brands in a big way and turned them in brands who challenged the norms.
Placing yourself as a challenger brand is a difficult position, they’ve placed themselves in a position whereby they can be easily scrutinised. It becomes tempting to step away from initial, controversial plans that separate themselves from their competitors to make the larger percentage of customers happier whilst excluding the interest of those who originally rallied beyond their ideals.
Instantly, you would lose the trust and loyalty that customers initially fell in love with and you’ll place yourself under the same light as those you’re trying to avoid. The most important thing for a challenger brand to do is to stick to their initial strategy that challenge.
We took on a client whose main purpose was to disrupt current markets in outdoor apparel, and undercut the price set out by brands such as Barbour who have dominated the market since the 20th century. We structured their strategy to be bolder in content, making it clear that consumers can still buy high-quality products with lower price tags.
Being a challenger brand puts you in an important position, a challenger brand can spark a whole debate of conversation that could change the way markets are run in the future and that gives a voice to customers. If you’re able to adopt a challenger brand strategies with genuine interest at the heart of your business then your brand could reshape the market you’re in. If you’re looking to elevate your brand's voice then get in touch, with 25 years of experience in SEO, Design and Branding we will be able to shape your brand and push it to its full potential through strategic thinking and creativity.
Published by: Vast Digital in Uncategorised