Overthrow II: 10 strategies from the new wave of challengers


What does it take to be a challenger brand today? Our new book, a collaboration between eatbigfish and PHD Worldwide, is a provocative and practical guide to focusing on what really matters: the narrative you need to be a compelling challenger brand in an increasingly noisy, crowded and distracted world.

Twenty years after the concept of the challenger brand was coined – and seven years after we first visited the challenger narrative in the original Overthrow – a new wave of challengers has been changing the way the categories around us think and behave. Financed by a new type of investor, harnessing emerging structural changes and new ways to build relationships with their consumers, they have generated an enormous energy and excitement in their marketing and business community.

Overthrow II explores the 10 different challenger strategies, or narratives, used most powerfully today, each of them embodied in interviews with incisive leaders who have used them to break through in their market. We look at the strategic principles that each follows, the media behaviours they practise, and the part that today’s big themes like technology, data, culture and creativity play.

Common to many of these challengers is a very simple shift in understanding what a challenger is: not a brand that challenges somebody, but a brand that challenges something; specifically, something they feel needs to change.

And challenger behaviour is not confined to the new or the small. Brands of all sizes – whatever their category, competition, heritage or personality – can benefit from adopting a challenger mindset to drive more ambitious growth and make the impact they desire.

Watch film from interviews with the featured challenger brands, take the quiz to find your own challenger type and get your copy of the book at overthrow2.com.