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Eating the Big Fish. How challenger brands can compete against brand leaders. By Adam Morgan. Summary by Kim Hartman. This is a summary of what I think. eating the big fish. FCACE5F5CCE2DB9B Eventually, you will utterly discover a additional experience and talent by spending more cash. Edition pdf, Free Eating The Big Fish How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against. Brand Leaders Second Edition Ebook Download, Free Eating The Big.

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EATING THE BIG FISH: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders, Second Edition, Revised and Expanded. The second. Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders. Home · Eating the Big Fish: .. Views 3MB Size Report. DOWNLOAD PDF. The Challenger Credos. How Challenger Brands. Can Compete Against. Brand Leaders. A Summary of Eating The. Big Fish by Adam Morgan eatbigfish.

They are simply using your product and getting on with their lives. Gaining Clarity on the Center 67 Why is this question powerful? This forever changing environment, where consolidation and fragmentation coexist, implies that potentially every David could play Goliath and every Goliath could play David in any aspect of a broad-based business. What about the new wave of entertainment brands? Both method and innocent, arguably the most influential packaged-goods brands of the moment in the United States and the UK, respectively, were started by people with no experience in cleaning products or smoothies.

Part I: Part II: Part III: Part IV: PDF Request permissions. Tools Get online access For authors. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. United States Europe Industrial Service Consumer Durables Consumer Non-durables 32 21 18 12 8 40 27 26 12 7 30 20 17 13 8 46 34 33 17 15 32 22 16 7 6 45 33 29 11 5 PIMS database of performance of 3, businesses, , www. While a second-rank brand makes half as much profit again as a thirdrank brand, a brand leader that dominates the category makes almost triple that.

Or take durables: A second-rank brand makes twice as much as a Number Three, but a dominator doubles that again. I bring this up not just as a stockholder issue, but as a further compounding of the difference in resources between us. That has yet to happen at PepsiCo or Dr. If profit allows a company to make choices, to invest resources in finding sources of future competitive advantage, then this disparity serves to widen the discrepancy between the chips the Brand Leader has at its disposal and the pile we have to play with.

Which is one of the reasons why so many Brand Leaders in fastmoving consumer goods FMCG markets, for instance, are exactly the same brands that were Market Leaders 60 years ago. So what? The point of all this is not to suggest that it is difficult for second-rank brands to catch the Number One; as we will come to see, that is rarely their objective anyway.

Nor is the point that at a crude level we as second-rank brands are outgunned more comprehensively than we thought though we are. And we have not even come to talk about the kind of aggressive business practices pursued by Market Leaders to diminish the impetus, will, and opportunity for their lesser competitors.

What the law of increasing returns means is that we have to swim considerably more vigorously than the Brand Leader just to remain in the same place.

Up to now, this has largely translated itself into conversations about relevance and focus: But what if staying where we are in the future will not be enough? What if profitable survival in our category requires the achievement of rapid growth, in a probably static market, in the face of three new kinds of competition?

Knowing that to follow the model of the Brand Leader is to help it increase its market advantage? It would mean we would have to behave and think about the way we marketed ourselves in a completely different kind of way. Find a different way of thinking about our goals and strategic objectives.

Require, in fact, a different kind of decision-making process altogether. Any service brand? Of course trust is important—perhaps more important than ever before. But the currencies of quality, reassurance and trust, though they may well have been adequate until relatively recently for dominant Establishment brands, are woefully inadequate as the only basis for the kind of relationship we are going to need with our consumer.

Facing the Law of Increasing Returns, Number Two brands are going to need to deal in altogether more potent currencies: To succeed, they are going to have to create an emotional identification, a strength of belief in the brand, a sense that we are one to watch or explore—active expressions of choice and loyalty that will make someone walk by the big, convenient facings of the Brand Leader and lean down to pick out the little blue can at the side.

This demands a different kind of marketing altogether, a different approach. We will come to see that it will demand a change, in fact, not just in strategy but in the attitude that precedes that strategy and the behavior that follows. Fundamental to each decision taken and each way of thinking will be the concept of mechanical advantage—the physical principle describing a machine that manages to create greater output from the same or lesser input.

Getting more results, in short, from fewer resources. Not only is this going to be the framework for our entire way of thinking, but it is also going to be the brief for the way we rethink the internal working structure, processes, and behavior of the company and people behind the brand.

But let us go into this challenge with our eyes wide open. Caught in the new food chain between the new hunger of the Brand Leader, the speculative sharks from other categories crossing over into ours, and the crocodile smile on the face of our retailer, the only path to medium- and long-term health is rapid growth.

We are not necessarily seeking to be Number One; there is a perfectly healthy living to be made as Number Two or Number Three in our market or large market sector.

But to be one of those brands, we have to put some air between ourselves and the competition. We cannot be just another middle-market player; we have to be a strong Number Two. I consider it an interruption in my workday. I review news clippings during my lunch minute. Donald Trump1 I f consumerism were a brand, we would say that the person on the street had developed significantly different usage, attitudes, and behavior toward that brand over the past three decades—and yet the vocabulary we still use to talk about it remains essentially unchanged.

The old underlying structures and concepts that we still refer to implicitly every time we use words like consumer and audience and category are thus now left fundamentally flawed. These were concepts, after all, coined at the beginning of the packaged goods mass market, when families watched television together and being a consumer meant something because—certainly in the United States—consumerism was embraced by the general public as a healthy sign of being part of, or aspiring to, the middle class.

But although our vocabulary fails to acknowledge it, the world is very different today. Consider what has happened to just those three basic concepts—audience, consumer, and category—over the past 30 years. The other, Media Burn, was more of a polemic performance piece, where, in , in front of an invited crowd in a small arena in the Cow Palace in San Francisco, a car accelerated up to and crashed through a stack of 42 burning televisions.

More than 35 years later, the addiction to a constant flow of media is one of the defining qualities of modern life across the developed world. To the point, of course, where consumers, particularly the younger generation of so-called digital natives, are experiencing and interacting with many of those media flows simultaneously. Figure 2.

You can see that if you add together all these units of activity with the time individuals spent on each one, they cumulatively add up to 43 hours of activity per person in what FIGURE 2. The reason, of course, is because people are doing a number of these key activities at the same time. And of course this rate of activity is operating at a time when many consumers feel—in part because of this multiplicity of stimulus—more stressed than ever before.

One of the most important shifts that has resulted, from our point of view, is the relationship that people are looking for in the media they use. In a poll a few years ago, 94 percent of all American adults stated that a primary use of their free time was to recuperate from work. If true, this is one of the most important pieces of marketing data to have emerged in recent years, and it describes a profound shift in the way consumers use one of the principal marketing tools at our disposal, namely, the television.

Why is this important to us? Because recuperation is a very different thing from leisure. You use recuperation time in a different way, and you look for different kinds of experiences.

Look at yourself. Exhaustion is, in every sense, a great leveler. At a very profound level, the consumer is yourself on a Thursday night after a tough four days. What kind of advertising do you want to watch, or have pop up on your screen? The answer, of course, is none at all. Eat peanuts and scratch your stomach. It is not simply a question of boredom thresholds or tolerance levels decreasing—even in serious relationships with a local divorce rate running at 68 percent, one county in the American Midwest has been considering compulsory prenuptial counseling before granting a marriage license.

It is a question of the pace at which we live profoundly impacting quite basic levels of human need. We take less time between activities—we constantly hurry on to the next.

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If individuals, social animals with physical needs, are cutting down on such basic requirements in order to get through the day, what slack are they going to cut us, the people trying to communicate with them? In this context, when their prime evening motivation is recuperation and escape, advertisers have moved beyond being clutter. They are no longer in the communication business, they are in a new kind of business altogether: And our brilliant response to this as communicators has simply been to increase the number of different ways we try to throw our messages at them.

And if we think Sa extreme, let us at least consider Figure 2. Which means that the audience is not an audience. To call them an audience presupposes they are listening. In fact, we, the brand, are merely one of the three or four acts that are on stage simultaneously, each vying for the attention of the potential audience.

In the UK, for instance, 36 percent of texting takes place in front of the television, while in the United States one study suggested that 23 percent of golf programming plays to an empty room. Referring to audience, then, although that word is used almost interchangeably to refer to our target, is fundamentally flawed.

Our target is not an audience, for that would presuppose they were watching or listening. While it may have more usefully described our target at the beginning of the intersection of mass marketing and television and even this is arguable , it certainly does not do so now. Basking in this, as marketeers we eagerly add rational information for consumers to absorb and inform themselves with our packaging, brochures, in-store material, and direct mail.

They are simply using your product and getting on with their lives. In most cases, the smaller the interaction—the less they have to react to—the better. There is evidence to suggest that people want fewer nutritional claims, less choice, and less information to have to deal with in the things they buy every day, whatever they actually tell you in groups. Furthermore, to say they are willing consumers of a product is not to say they are necessarily open-minded consumers or even consumers at all of its marketing.

It is well-known that the happy coexistence between marketeer and consumer of 30 years ago has been strained by the cynicism toward institutions of all types from the government down —to the point where they have become inoculated against many of the marketing claims in each category.

One might forgive them for scoffing at advertising images of smiling flight attendants pouring drinks, when the evidence of experience has denied the gloss for so long; more startling is the disbelief when a genuinely superior product comes onto the market. This is not new: Burnt once, twice, the target was not about to be fooled again. And, as Figure 2.

So, how much of your marketing does your consumer really want to consume? And neither, perhaps, is your category. Consumers are making comparisons of relative use and value across categories that transcend the crude ways we ourselves divide them. A woman asked in a focus group to sort out female toiletries divided them into two piles: It is whatever its consumer wants it to be: We are limiting the potential of our own brand by thinking purely in terms of our own category.

Furthermore, what boundaries they do draw are not always the ones we ourselves live by; they are in fact being encouraged by product development within even apparently complementary categories to break down the walls even further. Technology is an obvious example—if one offers the consumer a machine that is simultaneously a phone, a camera, an e-mail device, and an Internet browser, which category are we in?

But this blurring is not limited in any way to technology. Twenty or so years ago, every service category had developed its own rules of engagement with its consumers—car dealers treated you one way, fast food treated you in its own fashion, airlines were airlines, and so on.

And the consumer, in turn, generally accepted this. But today, consumers have become aware of what is possible—and indeed what they should be expecting for their money—in any category.

Educated by quality of service or experience in one business, they transfer those expectations to every category in which there is a service transaction. A respondent at a focus group on airlines put the case with some verve: You know, I have a dry cleaner at the end of my street.

I took him a work blouse on Monday, and I needed it in a hurry. Today, quality of experience and the expectations that it engenders travel beyond the category in which they were first experienced.

In conclusion, then, the language that we use every day in our jobs is a legacy from a past that is no longer relevant, leaving that same vocabulary and the concepts it represents fundamentally flawed premises for the new world in which marketeers say they are beginning to find themselves.

Implicit in those concepts are numerous assumptions that may have been correct when the language was first coined but that are dangerously misleading today. Now, I am not going to attempt in the rest of this book to pursue this caution into the invention of a replacement vocabulary—it would make for tiresome reading, besides distracting us from the principal thrust of the book, which is the study of Challenger brands.

For the moment, it will serve to remain keenly aware of those implicit pitfalls and think of the old marketing language we still use as like a rotten wooden floor—it will take our weight as long as we realize we have to walk gingerly and understand the nature of the drop beneath. Which brings us back to the imperative of mechanical advantage and the importance of ideas. If we are in the laundry detergent business, our competition is not the appalling commercials our competitors deploy for laundry detergents but the other commercials our target are engaged by, and respond to, across every category: A competitive advertising review must be all the competitive advertising the target sees: Which is why, as a Challenger, we need ideas.

Implicit in the concept of ideas, quite apart from the content, is that they are engaging, provocative, and self-propagating. This concept of ideas will run throughout the book.

Indeed, most of the Eight Credos have at their heart the development and implementation of ideas. Muhammad Ali, N ot least among the difficulties in abandoning, as we are attempting to, the natural reactions we fall back on in times of marketing adversity is the daunting prospect of facing a journey we have not made before—a journey that seems almost by definition to be one for which there is no map or precedent.

It takes more time, energy, and effort to create something new than to mimic something old, and these are the three commodities of which we feel most deprived. We need new brand models to guide us, to give us an overall sense of direction—an intuitive marketing compass we can fall back on in the fog of war.

We look enviously at the precedents of the legal world; would that we had new precedents of our own to help shortcut decision making.

Well, we do. Instead, we have to look to another kind of model—from a type of brand that is far more relevant to us. The criteria for a brand we as, at best, a Number Two in a category should be looking to emulate are three: They should be at best a second-rank brand themselves. They should have demonstrated a period of sustained and dramatic growth.

They should be from a category other than our own. The expression Challenger brand may be thought to simply evoke a Number Two or Number Three brand that is up against a much bigger and more muscular Brand Leader—the Establishment brand. Images of David against Goliath come again to mind: Can one really challenge from the position of fourth, fifth, or sixth?

One might have agreed with this up until the s.

Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders - PDF Free Download

The brilliance of the strategy was that its claimed position took it out ahead of the chasing pack, apparently snapping at the heels of the gigantic Hertz. One would get the impression from the advertising, in fact, that they were the only two players of any significance in the market at all.

Although there are a huge number of choices of carriers to cross the Atlantic, Virgin has created the impression for the domestic consumer that there are only two choices on the routes it flies: The classification of brands we examine throughout the rest of the book are consequently deliberately broad, both in the ranking of the Challenger within its market if it has one—Second Life, for example, effectively created an entirely new market and indeed in the definition it embraces of what is and is not a brand.

State of Market. Challengers are by definition not the Number One brands, nor are they niche. State of Mind. This is what really characterizes all these players— being Number Two Number Six, or 18 is simply an accident of birth. Challenger brands have a mind-set that encompasses two key differentiators: The latter is an important distinction—ambition in a marketing plan is not enough; being smaller and hopeful, without a preparedness to behave in whatever way is necessary to fulfill that ambition will lead to nothing but being small and disappointed.

Rate of Success. The final criterion for a Challenger has to be, for our purposes, success. There is no point in imitating an aggressive brand that has failed—this is not challenge, merely arrogance or misguided ambition.

Eating the Big Fish: How Challenger Brands Can Compete Against Brand Leaders

We shall require of all our brands that they have enjoyed significant and sustained growth through their marketing actions. This is not to say that they are still always growing at the same rate e. This is what Challengers can offer us over the Brand Leaders—an illustration of how to do it quickly.

The antithesis of the Challenger brand is the Establishment brand. The most dominant example of this is the Brand Leader, but other brands— even long-standing Number Two brands—can fall into this category if they lack either the ambition or the acceptance of the marketing implications. Although, therefore, not a scientific study in the sense that the brands can be said to be a representative sample of all brands, I have attempted to include a broad mix of the following: These are included not simply to leaven their more familiar costars, but because each has an enviable growth rate that has strikingly outperformed the category—and the Brand Leader—they compete against.

These are brands I have felt it is worth trading a small amount of explanation for in order to reap the rewards of their experience. Category aside, these fall into four groups, as shown in Figure 3. Each of the four sections of the grid represents a different kind of Challenger. Most of the discussion in the book centers on group A; these are launches or relaunches that have challenged the Brand Leader in the category.

Challenger Brands B. Dyson, Target Challengers that have succeeded by inventing their own category e. Red Bull C. Historical Challengers Challengers that are not brands as such e. They accomplished growth in slightly different ways from group A—if growth is caused either by increasing their market share or increasing their market, then brands in the top right of the grid increased their market: Brands in the group A, on the other hand, were as likely to take share from the Brand Leader as they were to grow the market.

The problem with marketing case histories such as the list of Challengers we have just mentioned is this: If they are in our category, we already know all about them, and they have long since lost the ability to stimulate or inspire far less offer an opportunity to derive competitive advantage.

Take the most discussed Challenger and now dominant leader, in search at least of the past 10 years: Or how do we apply the learnings from Zara? And so we put this other marketing world down and forget about it, the bridge unfinished between them and us.

In order to flourish under the dynamics of the new, more voracious marketing food chain, the new brand models we should be watching and learning from are not the other brands in our own category. They are instead: Let us try to construct a bridge between two such businesses, and in doing so derive the first of a series of exercises that will form the building blocks of the Challenger strategic process later in the book. Google is an interesting case for a number of reasons.

As a company it has an aversion to marketing. It is worth just lingering on this point, because it is so striking: Yet people love it. The answer is a very simple one. The reason that people love Google so much is that it is startlingly useful.

It delivers this startling usefulness in less than a second. And it does all these things for free or free to us, the user , with a simple and unassuming interface.

And from the combination of these it comes across as a genuinely generous, giving brand. So, what can we learn from this if we are selling cars? Well, first things first. In one key regard, of course, Google is using marketing. Whether you are a student of the 4Ps or the 7Ps, one of those Ps is product. But the product in this case is not an object, it is a service. But the key thing we can learn from this is the value people place on a brand being startlingly useful to them—so, applying this, what would it mean for a car brand, or perhaps a car dealership, to be startlingly useful to people?

Perhaps, for instance, we would offer information about brands and models other than our own. This information would not be in the form of leaflets out on a table or even accessed via the Internet. Nothing startlingly useful about that.

Just help. To be startlingly useful, he or she could offer to tell us ways to reduce our commute to work by 10 minutes each way every day. They could be the center for neighborhood carpooling services or school ride shares. Or family picnics—places to take the kids, to get them away from the game console, so the family could all just mess around together. Guides to how to teach your son or daughter fishing, and places to do it together.

And all done in a way that, as your customers unfold it, makes them gasp slightly at the drama of its unfolding.

Second, this new service would be very simple to use and enjoy. No forms to fill in, no clutter. No one trying to doorstep you on the way and sell you stuff. Very approachable and accessible.

Third, we would do this for free. We would recognize that there is a consumer response to generosity that we will recoup in other ways. That, in our case, word of mouth is the best advertising, and certainly as people shop for their next car, this would be a unique reason for them to come and see us while they are going around their three or four options.

And if they come in and want to talk to the salesperson on the way out, then that would be wonderful. If we are concerned about the cost, we could in fact let the publishers pay, like Google—those little hotels, boutiques, and fishing rod stores. And we would have a magic ingredient at the heart of all of this. Google has its mythical algorithm, which it is constantly improving times last year alone.

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Is it our techie? Is it the way we brand that person and their service? What is the thing we would be constantly and publicly improving, every day of every year? In other words, the relevance of the Google case to us has nothing to do with whether we are in the search category or not.

If we identify the points of emotional value that Larry Page and Sergey Brin created, and then look for how we would create exactly those same points of emotional value in our offer, even in this entirely different category, the relevance is not hard to find.

In fact, we will go further. We will create the first of a series of exercises that turn a key point of relevance from the brand outside our category into an exercise we can apply to any category, regardless of the superficial differences and anomalies. These exercises take the form of intransitive verbs. To Google vb: If we can translate each key case history discussed within each of the Eight Credos in this way, we will begin to develop a group of exercises that allows us to apply profitably the breakthroughs in thinking from other categories to our own and thus replicate their challenge and growth.

As second-rank brands, of course, we need rapid growth, whether we want to challenge or survive. The middle ground, as we saw earlier, is going to be an increasingly dangerous place to live. It will, of course, be something of a postrationalization. And in some cases, of course, they will be Challengers whose mistakes are as valuable as their successes.

Finally, at the heart of being a Challenger is precisely the fact that marketing is not a science, but rather informed judgment—there is opportunity in there being no marketing absolutes anymore. In the spirit of that informed judgment, then, while I have substantiated the core hypothesis as rigorously as possible throughout, at certain points I leave the tarmac road and offer a point of view about the future of marketing and the consumer; I telegraph these more subjective observations as clearly as possible when they occur.

You tend to rely on memory and stick with what has worked before. Even in the days when companies were still being started in garages rather than dorm rooms, it is striking how many of these founders knew relatively little about the categories they were launching into, and how beneficial that freshness proved to be.

Both method and innocent, arguably the most influential packaged-goods brands of the moment in the United States and the UK, respectively, were started by people with no experience in cleaning products or smoothies. The most influential Challenger soft drink in mainland Europe Bionade was started by a brewer who had never made nonalcoholic drinks before. Richard Branson famously used the money he made from selling rock albums to start an airline business.

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George Hickton, the CEO of Tourism New Zealand, which has become perhaps one of the most admired and successful country brands of the past 20 years, had no experience in tourism or marketing: He was an expert in turning around businesses. James Dyson who had studied furniture and interior design, rather than engineering, in college had no experience in vacuum cleaning—his previous invention was a new kind of wheelbarrow.

Jimmy Lai of Apple Daily came out of clothing to start a newspaper. And of course, a whole new generation of entrepreneurs—who have never worked anywhere at all very much before—is changing forever the media, social, and information landscape. The point is that we are taught that category experience is valuable, perhaps essential. And whenever one changes jobs or moves within the same job into another category of business, there is always that grimly predictable moment when the old hand leans across the table and explains over the course of an hour or two rather patronizingly, in my experience why this business is like no other business you have ever worked for.

And in some rather limited respects, of course, they are sometimes right. And in the digital world, the business model might indeed be very new. Intelligent Naivety 37 about the experience in one market has to be necessarily any different from what they like in another.

Which is exactly why people have responded so strongly to many of the Challengers on our list. Far from category inexperience being a drawback, it has proved to have a vitality that has allowed the new players to envision fresh possibilities in the category, possibilities that those who have worked for years in the category are unable to see because they have grown too close to the status quo.

And the same is true, I would suggest, of you and me. After all, do we not really feel underneath that we understand the possibilities of a market better in the first month we work in it than we do three years in? In those first few weeks, we are absorbed by and focused on the questions and opportunities, uncalcified by the category shibboleths and uncluttered by the petty details and manufacturing perspective that obscures our judgment later on.

It all seems so wonderfully simple and clear; we open up the market instead of closing it down. Look at Branson, Dyson, Dell: Innocence, intelligently applied innocence, has changed the face of the categories around us more profoundly than all the MBA expertise in the world.

This goes beyond marketing. My English literature teacher used to claim that the finest writers in the English language in the past years were Conrad and Nabokov—neither of whom had English as their first language.

It was indeed, he contended, the very fact that both of them started from another culture, another tongue, that the possibilities of the English language opened to them in such striking and unusual ways. So, too, the creative breakthroughs of the s, the golden age of U. Creative thinkers from strong Italian and Jewish cultures, the theory went, were able to bring fresh insight to familiar categories that those in more mainstream U.

The only artist to really capture the light in California was an Englishman, David Hockney. And so on. That has opened up new business models, introduced new dimensions of appeal for potential consumers, found new ways to build premiums and drive loyalty.

It might seem easy to confuse Intelligent Naivety with simply flying in the face of conventional wisdom, and in truth one does see some Challengers espousing exactly such a philosophy. Larry Ellison of Oracle has consistently remarked that he got to where he is now by doing the opposite of what people expected of him. I wanted to distance myself as far as possible from those pastyfaced corpses in suits I saw in airline magazine ads. I wanted to be a fur trapper when I grew up.

Intelligent Naivety 39 Credo for Challenger brands. Let us first explore in more detail what its value is and then turn to how we might do it. Why does the category have to be all about this? Why could it not be about that instead? What would make them change that? In , Eric Ryan was a strategic planner, working in San Francisco. He knew he had always wanted to start his own company, create his own mass-market brand, and, as he began to look for opportunities across the variety of categories in front of him, he was clear in his own mind that design was going to be a key part of the way the marketing world was going to develop and that the use of design would be a strategic element in whatever he started.

Ryan recognized that they were all much too powerful to go up against on their own terms—that is on needs, on effectiveness of germ kill, for instance—and asked himself how one could therefore create a very different kind of relationship, a higher level of emotional bond between consumers and brands in the household cleaning market.

So he stepped back and looked at the broader context for these cleaning products. He sat in the park with his girlfriend, looked at a Snapple Elements bottle in his hand, and asked himself: He looked at higher-involvement markets, like hair care, and saw that they were driven not by segmentation by product function, like cleaning, but by systems, approaches, and regimes, each with a philosophy at its heart.

So why could one not create a master brand with a philosophy at its heart, one that would span all areas of home care? And when he shared his emergent thinking during a car journey with his old college roommate, Adam Lowry, a chemical engineer, Lowry realized he could create a naturally derived, environmentally friendly product that would deliver both the kind of product Ryan was looking for and perhaps premium differentiation as well.

Which is how they came to create method, a premium home-care brand and now the seventh-fastestgrowing packaged goods company in the United States. He does not, as one might at Clorox, for example, ask how to increase the germ kill efficiency or improve the pine fragrance delivery important though both of those things might be within the current parameters of the market. Giants of the industry tend to become too close to their own business to become wave makers; the more we work on a piece of business, the more we become trapped in midstream thinking, particularly if that business becomes quietly successful.

This has resulted in a halving of mistakes, and undoubtedly saved lives. Dan Shrimpton, the co-founder of Peppersmith, a confectionery company specialising in natural chewing gum products, perhaps sums up this attitude best.

By challenging longstanding category assumptions, and to the amazement of people who had worked in the industry for decades, they succeeded in creating a product that was not only all natural but tasted great too.

This credo looks at the roots, source and nature of such identities, and how successful Challengers have built them. Challenger Brands do not attempt to navigate by the consumer. Instead, they invite the consumer to navigate by them.

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A Point Of View Lighthouse Brands have a unique point of view on the world, based on a belief or a value system — Audi, for example, anchor everything they do around the concept of progress.

From aluminium space frames in their cars, through to futuristic airport terminal aesthetics in their showrooms, right down to the race winning fuel efficiency of their diesel Le Mans cars.

Eating The Big Fish [summary] 2. Salience Lighthouse Brands are highly visible. They demand our attention by projecting their beliefs insistently and consistently in everything they do.

Challengers do not break through in a mature category simply by being a little more convenient or trustworthy; they need a wholly stronger and more emotional relationship with the consumer. You may never have flown with Virgin Atlantic for instance, but you could probably tell me what they stand for, and what that brand experience might be like. Built On Rock Lighthouses are built on rock: The embrace of diversity at the heart of MAC cosmetics, for example, is based firmly on its origins in the Toronto drag scene.

What we are creating here is not a Lighthouse Image, which would simply inform the communications strategy, but a Lighthouse Identity, which will impact every aspect of the business.

The Third Credo: Become The Thought Leader There are two kinds of brand leader in any category: While the Market Leader is of course one kind of brand leader in the sense that it has the dominant share and the distribution, the Thought Leader is the brand in the category that everyone is talking about, that is seen to be setting or resetting the agenda in the category.

The most common kinds of convention that Challengers choose to play with in order to take Thought Leadership seem to be these. Representation Conventions of Representation are the conventions surrounding how a brand portrays itself, including naming and product descriptors Help Remedies are unusually plain speaking for the pharmaceutical industry, 7. Critical here is to recognize that these brands do not break convention for the sake of it; instead they do so both to signal their distinctive identity and to prompt consumers to consider the category in a fresh way.

Medium Conventions of Medium encompasses distribution, message delivery and physical packaging structure. For example, Festina launched their range of waterproof watches by packaging them within transparent water-filled pouches, making an invisible attribute unmistakable.

Product Performance Conventions of Product Performance are self evidently those surrounding what your product actually does, over and above what it is expected to do, the Toyota Prius dramatising the energy transfer of its hybrid engine on the central screen housing the satnav system, for instance. Experience Conventions of Experience are those surrounding the product or service experience beyond pure product performance — Secret Cinema for example a London based immersive cinema company puts on events of such theatrical extravagance that the film itself is arguably often left playing second fiddle.

Neighbourhood And Network The fifth convention we can break is that of Neighborhoods and Networks and who we partner with to create our unique offer. They can become Thought Leaders by removing one or more of those barriers and thereby opening up an entirely new kind of relationship with their consumer. Eating The Big Fish [summary] Thought Leadership involves deliberately breaking some of the conventions of the category, while grounding yourself in others.

The sense of momentum this helps to create is not a one-off act of irreverence, it is the start of a longer term ambition to be seen as a brand that is constantly at the forefront of a fresh way of seeing and thinking about the category and its possibilities.

The Fourth Credo: Create a Symbol of Re-evaluation Challengers are brands in a hurry; most consumers, however, are locked in habitual behaviour and purchases. Besides image and consideration shifts, the car lured people into Audi showrooms who had not previously taken the brand seriously as a contender in the luxury car market. Few people in the UK gave much thought to school dinners until TV chef Jamie Oliver pointed out that we spent far less on lunches for our school children than we did on lunches for our prisoners.

It is said that a moon rocket uses half of its entire fuel supply just to leave the earth and reach its desired speed. The same is true of getting a brand off the ground—the real effort and difficulty lies in achieving that initial critical momentum. The Fifth Credo: Sacrifice The greatest danger facing a brand today is not rejection, but indifference.

Most brands we see around us are not really marketing, they are merely tweaking indifference, their marketing makes no significant difference to our feelings about that brand one way or another. But a Challenger does not have the time or the luxury of indifference — they know that weak or parity preference will simply not be enough; their only currency will be strong preference.

And to create strong preference they will need to reach out and bind certain groups of consumers very strongly to them. They must accept that they will need to take actions and communicate messages that will by the same token leave other groups of consumers cold, and sometimes even put off.

So strong Challengers have to be single-minded, even if it means sacrificing what might seem to be important markets or messages. Challenger hotel chain CitizenM did this in a typically dramatic fashion in their drive to make the luxury hotel industry affordable.

It concentrates the internal and external expressions of identity by eliminating activities that might be diluting, and by stripping away secondary marketing activity.