There are timelier issues than challenger brands

I think it’s a bit late in the day to discuss the issue of challenger brands such as Giffgaff (Comment and News in Depth, DW 15 July). The idea was originally introduced by Adam Morgan in his book Eating the Big Fish in 1999, so the discussion is more than a decade old.

The challenger vocabulary is simply a way of describing brands that aren’t market leaders without embarrassment. In the same way, thought leadership is sought by brands that cannot demonstrate any other type of leadership.

This is a very old idea indeed, and is usually stimulated by the desire for success by those brands that do not have brand leader resources. As Lord Rutherford said before he died in 1937, ’We have no money so we will have to think.’

My fear is that if clients read this sort of debate in the design trade press, they will assume that strategic thinking in the industry is at least a decade behind the pace.

Meanwhile, there are plenty of other contemporary debates we could be having, such as the relevance of behavioural economics.

Kevin Duncan, Expert Advice, by e-mail

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