Life as a challenger brand can be a bit of a catch-22 at times. You’re constantly compared to your competition, yet you do everything you can to stand out from the big guys. You rally against the market leaders and take pride in being the little guy, but you’d love to be at the top of the food chain. You’re involved in this “me against the world” struggle against large corporations, but you know you can’t close the gap without some help from the outside.
It’s this last point that’s particularly relevant for challenger brands. As the smaller alternative to the established leaders, you’re used to doing things on your own and following your own lead. However, marketing is hard enough without considering the large amounts of bandwidth that go into advertising for the typical business. In other words, your hands are already full as it is. It’s time to outsource something, and that thing should be your marketing.
Working with a challenger brand marketing agency isn’t selling out. Instead, it’s perhaps the smartest thing you can do as you attempt to work your way up the ladder. With a time-consuming responsibility off your plate, you’ll be able to focus your energies on the little things that go a long way with your audience. But what should you consider as you look into challenger brand marketing agencies?
- Experience. It may be tempting to go with an unknown here – after all, someone took a chance on your business, and you may want to give someone else the same opportunity. But this is your company here, and you only get one chanceto make a first impression. Look for an agency that’s done a great job with businesses similar to yours, with a proven track record in your industry.
- Vision. Where does the agency see your company going, and do you agree with their assessment? What types of marketing do you want the agency to create? What are your overall goals for your partnership with this agency? If you find that your vision for this project doesn’t match up exactly with that of the agency, cut ties and look elsewhere. You don’t want to make the mistake of assuming things will work out, only to find yourself stuck with an agency that isn’t doing what you want it to do.
- Adaptability. One of the major advantages of working with a marketing agency is that it’s the agency’s responsibility to keep up with the times. They’re the ones buying new computers and software licenses, not you. A good agency should be able to not only keep up with changing marketing trends, but they should also have the ability to quickly pivot based on what works best for your business. If Plan A isn’t working, they should easily be able to launch Plan B. And if you find that a given segment of the marketplace is more lucrative than your current target audience, your agency should easily be able to change course and begin pursuing this new population of consumers.
- Philosophies. As a challenger brand, you’re faced with the eternal moral dilemma. Do you actively challenge and bad-mouth the competition, or do you simply coexist within the same marketplace? It’s best to figure out the approach you want to take early, and it’s even better to make sure your agency is on the same page. This minimizes the chance of any surprises down the road, which can make things very uncomfortable for you, your agency and your customers.
- Assurance. Money is a finite resource for most companies, and that’s especially true for challenger brands who don’t have endless resources. What’s your guarantee that you’ll see a return on your marketing investment? What are your options if your agency doesn’t turn your marketing around? You’ll always expect things to work out the first time, but it’s good to have an idea of what you might be looking at in the event that your marketing doesn’t go according to plan.
Picking the right challenger brand marketing agency is a major step for any business. However, it’s a step that’s of the utmost importance. If you get this right, the sky’s the limit for your company. To learn more about what a challenger brand marketing agency can do for your business, contact us today.