10 types of challenger brand strategy
What do we need to challenge to succeed?
A challenger is not a brand that challenges somebody, but a brand that challenges something. Very few explicitly take on another brand in their category, but all of them are challenging something they feel needs to change.
Lemonade challenge people’s historical relationship with insurance
Tony’s Chocolonely challenge the ethics of the chocolate category
Universal Standard challenge a lack of inclusivity and bias in fashion
Xiaomi challenge why the best technology has to be expensive
COPA90 challenge how the existing power structure shortchanges football fans
Oatly challenge whether a historical and much loved cultural norm is something any of us should be doing at all any more
Understanding that central challenge gives each of these challengers real strategic clarity – clarity on their positioning, on their culture, and on their communications behaviour.
And we can see in this clarity a critical antidote to a common tendency in marketers today to respond to a fast-changing world by focusing on the wrong things – the new shiny object, conference buzzword or a slavish adherence to Purpose, whether it is right for the brand or not – rather than the core elements of strategy and brand building that will drive competitive differentiation.
A drift that is dangerous for a market leader, and fatal to a challenger.
Let’s see what follows, then, as 10 different kinds of challenger clarity.