Challenger Brand – A brand that stimulates long-term growth by disrupting the dynamics of an established category or creating an entirely new one
Challengers, disruptors…call them what you will, these innovative emerging brands are shaking up the marketplace and shifting share away from category leaders. What happened? Did established brands suddenly lose their appeal or suffer an epic PR disaster? No, it’s much worse. They lost sight of their consumer.
As Mike Urness, Managing Partner at the consulting and private equity firm, Seurat Group, puts it, “Brands are products that build trusted relationships with consumers. When established brands become misaligned and are not able to deepen relationships with existing consumers and attract new ones, an opportunity arises for an emerging brand to fill that void. Those brands that authentically connect with consumer’ needs, values, and community, become challenger brands.”
Women’s Marketing has a history of helping these challenger brands win and reshape consumer experience, disrupting every category from beauty and personal care to food and beverage and beyond. Our deep experience has shown us that successful challengers share seven similar behaviors and practices that accelerate growth. While each of these attributes is significant by itself, growth truly accelerates when all components work together seamlessly to attract – and keep – the consumer’s attention.
Challenger Brand Accelerator Steps
- Tell a compelling story: As Mike Urness explained, challenger brands are successful because they authentically connect with consumers. They articulate their reason for being and excel at storytelling and branding that resonates with their target consumer.
- Accelerate consumer trends: Challenger brands identify trends in their infancy and aggressively innovate in their category to move those trends from niche to mainstream.
- Curate demand through channels: Identify your consumer’s needs, beliefs, and behaviors and communicate with them through the channels that offer the best opportunity to cultivate one-to-one relationships.
- Create a cult: Invest in relationships with category influencers to create a tribe of ambassadors who build a groundswell movement for your brand.
- Go big in digital and e-commerce: Over-invest in e-commerce, digital, and social to establish brand presence, build awareness, and connect with consumers. Build a platform for consumer education, insights, and authentic engagement that positions your brand as a resource and category leader, and amplify the content to resonate across all channels.
- Stand out at shelf: Most consumers will discover your brand at retail—differentiate your branding, packaging, and messaging to stand out among your competitors and communicate your brand’s position in the category.
- Add incremental value to retailers: Offer retailers a way to both drive category growth and achieve strategic goals. For example, brands that support social causes create a halo effect for both the brand and retailer.
Marketing Strategy: Play To Win
We believe every brand has the potential to win. From our best-in-class insights practice to cutting edge digital solutions, Women’s Marketing offers a suite of marketing services designed to help the new disrupters succeed in a highly competitive marketplace. Contact us today to learn how we can help you unlock the challenger in your brand.
Source: Seurat Group Challenger Brand Study 2016 & 2017