Being a challenger brand means constantly looking for ways to jump in front of the competition. The good thing though, is that challenger brands have the flexibility that allows them to embrace an emerging trend in short order, in a way that the bigger companies cannot. Here are some ways challenger brands have gotten it done in 2017.
The upstart meal-kit producer, competing with larger names like Blue Apron, has used technology to its advantage. As part of its ad campaign focusing on the customer experience, HelloFresh uses cloud-based technology to create truly individualized relationships with customers. The end result is a customer retention rate of 17 percent after six months of membership, which rivals only the 28 percent retention rate of Blue Apron.
2. Halo Top.
Marketing food and drink items based on their health merits has seen challenger brands capture large percentages of market share. Some companies, such as La Croix, rely on word of mouth. Halo Top, however, forces the conversation by promoting heavily on Instagram and Facebook. In the case of the latter, those who have tried the product can share their discovery with their friends and families. The digital-first approach has worked, giving Halo Top an increase in sales of 2,500 percentbetween 2015 and 2016.
3. Kraken Rum.
Many of the established leaders in the alcohol industry have been around for generations, making life as a challenger brand in this field very problematic. However, Kraken has been able to get the word out about their rum using some unique marketing techniques. One such tactic is a large Kraken mural in Brooklyn, at which people are encouraged to post pictures on Instagram using a Kraken-specific hashtag. The groundswell of support around this brand is causing people to take notice, giving Kraken a great chance of finding a niche in the notoriously old-school world of liquor.
4. Sling TV.
Everyone feels like they pay too much for cable, and everyone feels like they don’t get enough for their money. Enter Sling TV, the first company to offer over-the-top access to popular TV channels without requiring an expensive cable package. Unlike the top names in cable, Sling TV doesn’t force the user to rent boxes or sign a long-term contract. Instead, subscribers simply bring their own Internet connection and sign on using a smart TV or video game console. It’s proven so popular that DirecTV has started a similar service, and other cable providers have begun offering cord-cutter packages. They’re smart to do so; thanks to Sling TV and companies like Netflix, 2017 was the first year in which people watched more TV onlinethan they did through their cable boxes.