March 2, 2020
Those that keep a finger on the pulse of culture are feeling the shift away from conformity into an era of individualization. People are begging brands for clarity and unique stance. Given the restraint of resources, this level of focus also ensures that every action taken moves the needle. Doing so requires a shift in mindset and complete commitment to the task. This is what it means to be a challenger brand. If you’re ready, we suggest eye protection and long sleeves — we’re about to blaze some trails.
PEOPLE ARE BEGGING BRANDS FOR CLARITY AND UNIQUE STANCE.
When you hear the term challenger brand, it might be natural to think of a market position. At its core, however, a challenger brand is much more about mindset than it is your standing among competition. The psyche of a challenger is that of a contrarian. It was a contrarian mindset that identified switching from feature-first messaging to a focus on storytelling and emotional triggers was a much more effective use of resources.
The same mindset sees that paying for traditional media placements and maximum eyeballs is ripe for disruption. These challengers choose to focus on cultivating a community around owned and earned channels to create a publishing opportunity that carries little to no cost to place media. Whatever we challenge is born from a mindset of throwing a cold-shoulder at traditional methods and thinking differently.
Unfortunately, this can’t tell you what to disrupt. Finding your unique stance takes a thorough understanding of your audience and authenticity to your identity as a brand. This stance is only as good as your ability to portray it to the world through action. It also goes to say that a winning challenger strategy only requires one big idea. Focus to this degree will ensure that your challenge is communicated, understood, and most of all appreciated among your audience.
A WINNING CHALLENGER STRATEGY ONLY REQUIRES ONE BIG IDEA.
Is your company ready to take on a challenger mindset? A simple question to nod to, and quite another to actualize. The culture of challenge is one that requires total commitment from visionary to intern. Fundamental change of how you think about your marketing, your audience, your products, or even your entire category does not allow for a toe-dip into the process. Clarity in the eyes of your audience can only be obtained if your stance is seen as unquestionable. It is why so few companies do this successfully, but also why the opportunity is still so ripe.
It’s better to adopt an innovative mindset that results in uniqueness than it is to fade into the sea-of-sameness that traps so many brands. Finding a stance worth embarking on starts with a simple thought: innovate or bust. Choose innovate.