Ten Challenger Narratives

There is more to being a challenger brand than being a Feisty Underdog. Telling the story of ‘Small vs. Big’ dressed up in a pointy attitude and waving a bullhorn is indeed one kind of potentially successful challenger narrative, but only one – and not the most frequent, despite its brand mythology. If we look at a decade of a new generation of dynamic challenger brands, they vividly illustrate a much more varied set of narratives with which they have successfully challenged a market, and a market leader.

This is an exploration by eatbigfish and PHD of the 10 most common successful challenger narratives; what they share, how they differ, and how they should structure their media behaviours in today’s highly connected world. The narratives have been drawn from research into some of the most successful challenger brands of the last decade. Each of these narratives is, in effect, a dynamic challenger strategy that takes on the category or a leader; each differs in that they succeed through challenging something different in order to bring about breakthrough.

Use this simple tool to help surface what our bias is, both as brand owners and as people driving those narratives forward.

What Challenger Narrative should my brand follow?

What type of Challenger am I?