Challenger brands are disruptors. They take on the
industry giants and manage to steal a galactic portion of their market shares.
For these companies, their vision requires massive changes to the industry’s
ways of doing things. They bravely take on the challenge of effecting these
changes and do it for everybody to see.
Before the idea of challenger brands came to be,
industries were suffocating under monopolies. All that that existed in terms of
excitement were ‘industry best practices’ designed to achieve consistent
Challenger brands innovate and do things differently,
for instance, the way Lottoland’s lotto betting model is set to
challenge the UK National Lottery.
How to Create a Challenger Brand
If you are tired of executing the same operations the
same way every day and getting the same results, maybe it’s time to reprogram
your whole business’ subconscious. That will give you a chance to unlock
untapped potential, to make your brand go viral or turn lacklustre customers
into brand fanatics.
The first thing a challenger brand needs is a
transformative ambition. You should then be prepared to do anything to improve
the current market situation. The
best-known challenger brands today fight against old business concepts. They bring
up new ones that offer more value to customers. The fight could be against high
prices, skewed perceptions, or mediocre products and services.
Create a strong identity around your
The only way to get positive recognition for your
defiance of limiting standards is by having a robust brand identity. That
entails clearly defining who you are and letting customers know what you intend
to change in the market.
Clients and other industry players need to be clear on
what you stand for, and your yearly goals, experts say. Your vision needs to
remain clear and consistent, regardless of the outcome of your disruption
Think and act out of the norm
The role of a challenger brand is to burst all myths
and old beliefs that have expired. Your message should thus be simple and
unique. Your uniqueness should not only show in product/service quality but
also in the way you speak to your customers.
Your customers need to associate with the concerns you
are going up against. They are probably the only ones who will be cheering you
on as industry leaders try to take you down.
Leverage on emotions
Find out what customers dislike most about the
existing brands in the market and build on that. Present your brand as a
business that is set out to rectify injustices in some kind of way. There will
be criticisms as is to be expected in any disruption process, but your brand
should find ways to thrive off the resulting controversy.
Do as you promise and change the
A challenger brand, after marketing, rolls up their
sleeves and gets to work. The product and services have to be different
from what is available, as you promised customers. Just ‘slightly different’
won’t cut it.
Your offerings have to go above and beyond what customers
expect. Think of the difference that companies like Google and Skype brought to
the market. It is one of a kind, and that’s what your disruption should be
Keep improving and transforming the
One of the biggest problems for a challenger brand is
marketing. At some point, it will be tempting to drop everything that defines
you and sink into complacency like your competitors. Don’t do it. It takes time
for a challenger brand to thrive. You will have to stick with your strategy to
win with it.
There is no room to turn back once you start the
disruption. If you do, that would be akin to suicide. All the customers’ trust
in you will erode, and your competitors will find the upper hand. Whether your
disruption is through a new product, distribution strategy, or business
platform, keep working at it till you attain perfection.
If there is stiff competition in your niche, the only
hope for your business is to adopt a challenger model. That will allow you to
be seen and heard in an environment overshadowed by giant brands. With the
above strategies, it should be easy to stand out and thrive.