Avoiding the Imitation Game

Avoiding the Imitation Game:

Why Challenger brand equity measurement needs to be different

Challenger brands succeed precisely because they do not ape the market leader or follow the standard category rules – therefore making it hard for standard brand equity measurement to meet the needs of these brands.

At Insight Inside we have recently been rethinking brand equity measurement for Challenger brands from the ground up. 

Some of our key learnings on what really works for Challenger brands are:

  • Use new techniques to measure emotional connection
    We believe that any Equity measurement for the future needs to embrace new knowledge about how our brains work and how we make decisions. In particular we need to understand how people feel about your brand, as we feel first and act later.   We avoid the over-rationalisation inherent in traditional ‘System 2 thinking’ based trackers, by incorporating implicit-style questioning and non-verbal measures to get closer to how people really feel.
  • Focus on what the brand stands for
    In our experience successful Challenger brands stand clearly for just one or two key things and convey this meaning with a real personality.   Having the right measures in place is critical and generic category attributes (often inherently defined by the market leader’s attributes) can be at best a waste of space, and at worst actually misleading.
  • Don’t create (or feed) a monster
    By definition Challenger brands change quickly, and so do their brand evaluation needs, so we keep our approach lean, agile, and easily adaptable, and our communication of results tight and suited to the audience.
  • Build bridges to maximise value
    Clients get the most value from brand equity measurement when it is aligned to the brand’s strategic focus. We will discuss how it can be linked to your segmentation model and inform your brand positioning.

Most Challenger brands reach a point where it becomes crucial to understand how well their lighthouse identity is being understood by consumers and to pinpoint the lowest hanging fruit to maintain the growth momentum.  Similarly, as brands become established many find they need help to maintain the Challenger mentality that attracted people to them in the first place. 

If either of these scenarios resonate, we’d love to talk more with you about the targeted application of Challenger brand equity measurement for your brands, and share evidence from our work so far.