Wednesday, November 19, 2014

From David to Goliath. How Challenger Brands Become World Changers.

Big brands get it. At least many of them do. Yet challenger brands and start-ups especially are vulnerable in large part to a lack of vision and purpose. Vision is imperative. Every company has one, or desperately needs to stop what they are doing to find one—a clear picture of their brand’s strategy and direction. Without it, you’re going nowhere, and the marketing people responsible for driving your brand are spinning their wheels without a roadmap or GPS.

We also know that a vision should be big. It should be bold. It should be easy to define. But more importantly it must be relatable. Everyone seeks connection and a cause to champion, but if your brand isn’t a vehicle for either, then you’re not relevant and you’re not the focus of conversation. You remain just a challenger. The goal is to unseat the market leader and win people’s hearts right? Sure, mission statements help to articulate what a brand wants to do, and how it will realize its vision, but carrying that out is another story. Speaking of stories, what is your story and how is that story perceived and received by the world at large or community you wish to influence? What are your values, beliefs and definitions of what guide your brand’s culture and decision-making processes?

Emotional Relevance:

Is your story more like a fairy-tale or a well-crafted documentary? Does it read like a motivational manifesto and resonate with the passions and pursuits of its audience? An engaging story isn’t static or self-serving, but fuels its followers while directionally connecting everyone to the overall goals and objectives of the company. It doesn’t exclude, but invites everyone to the party. It speaks the love language of those who are listening, and inspires cult like loyalty. Apple was once the underdog. Now it’s a giant. Macy’s has magic. What’s your mojo?  

Does your story and the strategy for telling that story connect with your audience and validate their emotional investment and loyalty? Are you adaptive, creative and courageous enough to lead and innovate when others are complacently following? These are the questions that need to be answered before a compelling story can become more than just a story, before it can assist a brand’s mission or deliver quantifiable results, but create movements that alter the world in a meaningful way and leave behind legacies for future generations to follow. This is how Davids can become Goliaths.