1. State of Market
• Not the number one brand
• Not a niche
2. State of Mind
• Ambitions that exceed their conventional marketing resources
• A preparedness to accept the marketing implications of the gap
3. Rate of Success
• Have enjoyed signiﬁcant and sustained growth through their marketing
“Success means never letting
the competition deﬁne you.
Instead you have to deﬁne
yourself based on a point of
view you care deeply about.”
Tom Chappell, Tom’s of Maine
Market Leaders Challengers
Dominate share > < Perceived momentum
Maintain status quo >
Reinforce behavior >
Trusted competence >
vs. < Agent of change
< Redeﬁne behavior
< Admired intent
Reassure > < Disrupt
Satisfaction > <Advocacy
12 CHALLENGER STANCES The Stance Challenging What?
The People’s Champion e.g. Linux, Virgin Atlantic. Take a conscious position on the side of the
consumer, often against the category Gorilla
The Scrappy David e.g. Ryanair. Head to head assault on the category Gorilla
The Enlightened Zagger e.g. Camper shoes. Deliberately swims against the prevailing cultural
The Real and Human e.g. Ben & Jerry’s, Southwest. Portrays a “real” and “honest” approach
Challenger in a faceless category
The Missionary e.g. Dove, Rackspace. A challenger ﬁred up with a view about the world
it has to share. Often looking to “put the category right”
The Democratiser e.g. Target, YouTube. Takes something that was previously exclusive or
controlled and makes it available to the masses.
The Irreverent Maverick e.g. Redbull, Crumpler. Counter cultural attitude in a box
The Visionary e.g. Whole Foods, ZipCar. Sets out a much higher vision that transcends
the category nature.
The Next Generation e.g. Mindstorm, Silk (The New Milk). That was then and this is now.
The KillerApp e.g. Skype, Napster. A product/service with minimal branding that is so
revolutionary it becomes de facto a challenger.
The Game Changer e.g. Wii, Lush. A brand with an entirely new perspective on the
possibilities of the category.
The Value Changer e.g. Motel 6, Easyjet. A challenger offering a proposition focused on
superior value for money.
How to get started
1. You need a different approach to the market leader
2. Have a grounded brand idea
3. You need to study brands outside your category
4. You need to study the Challengers in those categories
5. Build a lighthouse identity
Building a Lighthouse Identity
The predominant purpose of Challenger brands’ every marketing
action is to tell us where they stand.
Challenger brands don’t really talk about the consumer at all,
instead they talk about themselves.
Challenger brands invite the consumer to navigate by them –
they behave as Lighthouse brands.
“We believe in individualism, we hate conformism,
we believe in a civil courage. We believe you have
the responsibility to make up your own opinion.”
- Dieter Mateschitz, CEO
Media is a State-of-Mind
Challengers have ambitions that
exceed their conventional marketing
The world has changed to one of
conversation rather than broadcast
and Challengers ﬁnd different ways
to manifest this projection.
Everything can be a medium, if we
choose to see it that way.
Born in 2008, this Ann Arbor-based company spent that last 18 months
engineering, testing, and developing its supply chain…and delivered its ﬁrst
Current’s ﬁrst product the C1x, has a top
speed of 70mph, a range of 50 to 80 miles
and an MSRP starting at $5,499. These stats
make it both the best performing and the
best value available.
Design + Performance + Green
Celebrating the spirit, fun and approachability of the simple, lightweight
motorcycle, which has a magical place in transportation history, was a
primary design goal for the Enertia. A blend of old school purist themes
and new school technology, the Enertia strikes a perfect balance between
the familiar and the future of motorcycling.
High Performance + Technology + Clean
Zero Motorcycles is the next step in motorcycle evolution and represents the
ultimate electric motorcycle technology. Unencumbered by conventional thinking
about how we design, manufacture, and sell high performance electric
motorcycles, we’re on a mission to turn heads and revolutionize our industry by
combining the best aspects of a traditional motorcycle with today’s most
advanced technology. The result is an electric motorcycle line that’s insanely fast,
and environmentally friendly.
Energy Efficient + Quality + Fun
The de-facto leader in the market. Vectrix was founded
in 1996 with one objective — to provide clean, efﬁcient,
reliable and affordable inner-city transportation. About
1,000 VX-1 models are on the road and there are 84
dealers across the US.
Where do they go from here?
1. Right now Current Motor is just a company, they realize the
need to build a lighthouse brand to go to market
2. They have aspirations to be a real challenger brand, but the
great race is on
3. You are their target market, their potential fan base
4. They desire an open brand-development platform
5. It starts here: http://www.brandupandbecounted.com
Shaping the Current Motor Brand
If you would like to join Current Motor Company’s brand and product
development panel, visit www.currentmotor.com/contact
To request a copy of today’s survey responses, contact me at
Remember: A brand for all is a brand for none.