By Patrick Culhane3/18/2021

How Much of a Challenger Brand are you? 

Hero Image

Let’s start with, what is a challenger brand? It is a brand with big dreams, wanting to do bold things to overcome disadvantages such as restrictive budgets, low awareness, or declining brand energy.  

Being a challenger brand has benefits. It creates a brand strength that minimizes wasted time. You look for messaging that delivers emotional intensity and makes media budgets achieve more. Disruption becomes a part of your DNA so you can achieve the previously unthinkable when delivering measurable value. 

The question is, how do you know if you are the challenger brand you want to be and if it is enough?

Our Challenger Focus Assessment helps. Here’s how it works.  

Step one: Rate where you want your brand to be on the Challenger Spectrum, where 1 is we are happy to follow what others do as long as we do it well and customers are satisfied, and 100 is we want to be a brand that defines the category and has passionate fans. 

Step two: Answer all the questions below, based on the guidance provided, and give your brand a score between 1 – 10.  

Challenger focus questions:

Q1) How solid is your brand?  

1 = you feel your brand is constantly subject to change, 10 = you feel your brand remains constant. 

Q2) How authentic is your brand?  

1 = we are fake it until we make it, 10 = we base our brand on values we all believe. 

Q3) How distinct is your brand?  

1 = our brand sounds like many of our competitors, 10 = our brand is instantly recognizable. 

Q4) How emotive is your communication?  

1 = it is relatively functional, 10 = it gets me every time I see it. 

Q5) Is being disruptive a part of your company’s culture?  

1 = teams tend to keep doing the same time, 10 = leadership actively seeks innovative ideas from everyone. 

Q6) Does your brand stay focused on a small number of key priorities? 

1 = we attempt to cater for every opportunity, 10 = we only focus on the core customers and areas that shift our business. 

Q7) How disruptive is your marketing?  

1 = our campaigns look like many other brands, 10 = people regularly talk about our campaigns. 

Q8) Are you focused on customer-centric idea generation? 

1 = we come up with occasional ideas, 10 = we continuously engage a community of customers to help us innovate. 

Q9) What is your approach to testing and learning? 

1 = we test everything before we do anything, 10 = we have a robust test and learn approach that gets us to market faster 

Q10) How often do you focus on all the points raised in questions 1-9? 

1 = we’ve only just started to think like a challenger brand, 10 = we have and always will act like a challenger brand 

Step Three: Assess your score. If the total for questions 1-10 is under 50, congratulations, it’s the opportunity to start your challenger brand journey.  If your score is lower than where you placed your brand on the challenger spectrum, now is the perfect time to address the areas that pulled your score down. If you scored high across the board, congratulations on being a challenger brand.  

Challenger brands compete with brands their customers put them against, not just those they identify in the category.  Our Challenger Focus Assessment can also help measure if you are “challenger” enough. Download our assessment sheet and complete one for each competing brand. 

We will get more specific on these questions in future blogs, but if you can benefit from being more of a challenger brand, reach out to Patrick Culhane.