Though the term may sound familiar, you may not know exactly what a challenger brand is, or why it may be important to accept that you could be a challenger brand.
A challenger brand is an entity that is being out-resourced by its competitors via greater ad spending, distribution, brand awareness, finances, etc., or is a brand competing in a very complicated or aggressive market. In fact, you can be a globally recognized brand and still be considered a challenger brand.
Imagine if Nike wanted to launch a sports drink. They would suddenly become a challenger brand in the category because of their lack of experience compared with that of Gatorade or Powerade. Typically, challenger brands have limited resources compared to their competition.
As a result, challenger brands must think and act differently. challenger brand Marketing is not like traditional marketing. If you implement traditional marketing strategies and do not have the financial resources to sustain those programs at the same level as your larger competitors, your marketing efforts will likely fall short.
Messaging is critical for challenger brands. Whether you are talking to existing customers or prospects, everyone in your organization is selling your company at every moment of the day. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone had exactly the same answer to the question “What do you do?”
We suggest building your base, customer-facing messaging on the elevator pitch concept. An elevator pitch is a thirty-second response to that question, expertly crafted to define your company in a way that is relevant, meaningful, and that inspires the listener to act.
The elevator pitch approach is based on a scenario in which you’re in an elevator at the top floor of a building, and someone asks you what you do. You have until the elevator doors open on the ground floor to tell your story. A good elevator pitch can be the difference between a challenger brand’s success and its failure.
Your goal is to make a great first impression and get people excited about your brand, product or service. An elevator pitch is also a great way to introduce yourself to prospective clients, turn employees into salespeople, recruit new talent or simply explain to Uncle Ed what it is you do for a living. But most importantly, an elevator pitch must be used consistently by everyone throughout your organization. Everyone must say the same thing whether they’re in an elevator in the Transamerica Pyramid or in the Sears Tower.
Our elevator pitch writing process brings your brand to life with honesty. The secret to writing a compelling and effective elevator pitch comes down to four questions. String together the answers to the following questions, and you will have an elevator pitch that speaks to your company’s core essence, trumpets your brand’s benefits to the customer, and drives the listener to take action.
- Who are you? What you do does not define who you are. Use language that describes the individuals within your organization. Passionate, educated, experienced, creative, dedicated, reliable, trustworthy, diligent, energetic, intelligent…
- What do you do? Avoid being literal and listing the obvious, such as “We make toasters.” Instead, use action language to focus on what your company does for your clients/customers. Deliver results, improve productivity, track success, measure improvement, follow up, follow-through, deliver, ensure, guarantee…
- What makes you special? What can only you say, own and defend? What’s that one thing that separates you from your competitors? Don’t be obvious. Don’t be that restaurant that says, “We have great food and great service.” These are basic expectations, and your competitors are already saying this.
- How can you make a difference? This is your close. This is your call to action. This prevents the listener from saying, “So what?” What’s in it for the customer/client? Work with us, and you can expect peace of mind, improved productivity, cash savings, job security, new customers…
Weave together the responses to these four questions to get your very own impactful elevator pitch from which other brand-positioning language can be borrowed—mission statements, website copy, copy for collateral materials, etc.
Now that you’ve accepted the fact that you’re a challenger brand, and have the tools to write your base messaging platform, you’re ready to bring value to your customers, unite your organization, and take on your industry gorillas.