Was there ever an era when we spent more time digesting online information yet questioning the shape of life to come? This clash of uncertainty and stream of information brings us closer to the mindset at the heart of Gen Z’s consumer behaviour. Constantly juggling screens, it is not surprising that they are more politically engaged, hold conflicting ideas, see their lives as blank canvases and embrace dystopian extremes and challenger behaviours. They are, after all, the generation that have made it possible for small niche brands to challenge the Goliaths.
SO WHAT MAKES A CHALLENGER BRAND AND WHAT CHALLENGER TRAITS CAN LEADING BRANDS LOOK TO IN THESE EXTREME AND CHALLENGING TIMES?
Challenger brands tell stories that make us feel connected and empowered, showing us that real success lies in breaking away from social norms and authoritarian monolithic models. They have one central common trait: their very human qualities.
“Challengers are positive, brave and fair and often display humility and humour, which we relate to simply because they are more human than marketing constructs. Such brands have the ability to craft narratives and are often disarmingly honest about themselves and the category, freely highlighting flaws as opposed to manufacturing airbrushed realities. This is why they resonate, as deep down we are suckers for imperfection. Because imperfection makes us feel better and a dose of ‘better’ is what we need today”.
WALK THE WALK!
Another important characteristic is their drive to foster communities and the likes of Rihanna’s Fenty, Glossier and Patagonia are masters at championing their vision and sense of togetherness. They don’t just ‘talk the talk’, they lead by example and demonstrate that it is about showing the way and living the mission, rather than simply telling.
With challenger brands, you often get a sense of the people behind the brand. BrandMe’s very own brand creation for ‘The Jolly Hog’ brings to life the ethos of the owners; 3 friendly brothers who have the highest commitment to sourcing only outdoor bred pork from RSPCA Assured accredited farms, demanding a high level of animal welfare.
“Challenger brands appeal to Gen Z because of their physiological need for self-expression and humour and their exploratory journey. Challengers are another opportunity for them to experiment and play. When we emerge from COVID’s aftermath, more than ever before, established leaders will be challenged and self-expression and play will be the order of the day. So, this is a call to all brands: GO CHALLENGE, BE HUMAN, EXPRESS YOURSELF AND DON’T FORGET, GO PLAY!”
Source: Chantal Bordet-Brand Development Director-BrandMe