5 Things Challenger Brands Must Do to Be Successful

March 5th, 2012 Written by

Challenger Brands are companies of any size or industry that are either being outspent by larger competitors, are new to an industry, compete in large or cluttered markets or for any reason, find that their current marketing resources are not enough to generate the results they seek.

Just because you are resource challenged, does not mean that you can’t be extremely effective at marketing. The key is to think and act like a Challenger Brand. By virtue of circumstances, Challenger Brands have to approach everything they do from a different perspective. They have to throw out the traditional marketing strategies they have learned and start to think differently.

The following are five of the most basic mindsets that all Challenger Brands must embrace:

    1. Never compete head-to-head with larger competitors: Challenger Brands understand that if they go head-to head with competitors that have significantly larger marketing budgets, greater marketing resources, a larger sales force or better known brand names, using the same strategies will only result in getting lost in the clutter.
    2. Think and act differently: To get noticed and break through the clutter. Challenger Brands need to draw attention to their message and say things that are unique. However, it is critically important that you know with 100% certainty that your message is relevant to your target audience. The key is to be different and attention grabbing, yet extremely relevant to the needs of the target.
    3. Own a niche: You must identify a niche within your market that you can truly call your own and just as importantly, can defend from any competitor moving forward. What is it that you do better or differently than anyone else in your space? Discover your unique niche, then own it and defend it.
    4. Understand the limitations of your budget: Most Challenger Brands play only in those arenas where they have the best chance to win. Don’t think about the perfect marketing program because chances are you can’t afford to execute it. Instead, think about your total marketing budget and how to create a program that will optimize your strengths and maximize the ROI on the resources you have available. Consider segmenting your target audience into smaller, easier to reach vertical markets or reducing the geographic focus of your target. Your objective is to put yourself in a position of being noticed, make an impact and win.
    5. Become famous for something: All of this leads up to one, very critical objective for all Challenger Brands – become famous for something. You can never be known or remembered for everything, but you can certainly be famous for one thing. Whatever it is that you ultimately become famous for, remember that it must be unique, memorable, ownable and most importantly, relevant to your target audience.

If you would like to learn more about how Challenger Brands can effectively take on their larger competitors and win, then check out our book, Marketing Smart. We would love to hear your feedback.

Until next time…

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