Zag Ep. 67 Secrets to building challenger brand campaigns + Calendly’s $3bn marketing playbook uncovered…

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📅 What Challengers Need To Know This Week
In this week’s edition:  
Secrets to building campaigns like the best challenger brands
A guide to rebranding  
Marketing a $3 Billion SAAS product like a Pro

🤐The secret to building campaigns like the world’s best challengers

😫2024 is going to be harder than ever to cut through in terms of your campaigns actually making a difference.

That being said, there are 3 challenger brands we’ve spotted over the first month of 2024, who are doing everything right when it comes to launching their campaigns and making sure they cut through all the noise of Dry-jan, post holiday blues and the impending valentines day campaigns.

🗣️ But why does that matter to you? Well, one common thread has emerged amongst these challengers who have produced effective campaigns and there’s a mini framework you could apply to all of your campaigns in 2024… Let’s dig in.

💪 Challenger: Gymbox

What: Gymbox teamed up with South-London institution Morley’s for their “Don’t Skip Wing Day” Campaign,  transforming the brick lane Morleys into a Gym and hiding 200 day-passes to Gymbox inside boxes of chicken wings.

Why: They want to encourage healthy food-exercise balance whilst letting the community know that it’s ok to be into “gymming” and eating fried chicken too! Rory McEntee (CMO Gymbox) and his team at Gymbox continuously find these non-obvious moments that help cement Gymbox as a London institution. By teaming up with Morley’s they instantly tap into the community and create a marketing moment around a really interesting context: that we can like to be healthy but also love fried chicken too! You can hear Rory on Scratch  where he discussed exactly how they come up with these incredible ideas.

🏃🏻 Challenger: Represent

What: Represent launched their collab with Puresport and Ollie Marchon with a run club and fitness pop-up at Flannels in Oxford street.

Why: Represent have been masters at building community around both the main brand, and the fitness brand 247. Not only do they sponsor some of the best Crossfit and Hyrox athletes in the world, but they want to bring their customers into this community and continuously build moments for the customers to come and join the community in real life.  Nothing like a 6am run club to be memorable.

🏨 Challenger: citizenM

What: Hospitality challenger, citizenM launched their hotel in Rome with their citizens of Rome campaign. They put real Italians, or modern-day Romans on plinths across the city.

Why: This approach of paying homage to the statues that adorn the historical city whilst making sure they tap into the modern-day culture that exists allows them to create an instant local fan base and ensures they are part of the local fabric of Rome for years to come.

🤨 So what can we learn from all 3 of these campaigns? They all follow the 4C’s of challenger brands when crafting their campaigns. We hear you, what are the 4Cs of a challenger brand? Check it out below:

4 Cs of a Challengers:

  • Context - always ensure that the campaign context is correct. The GymBox campaign doesn’t work unless they already know that Londoners like the gym but love Morleys.
  • Community - Find the community you speak to and make sure you are actively trying to build the community.
  • Culture - The cultural nuance of a campaign can make or break it, make sure it always lines up properly with driving the culture forward, and not just trying to exploit the culture.
  • Collaboration - It doesn’t need to be a big name or obvious collaboration, but it does need to have a real logic as to why you’re collaborating.

👆 Use the above as a checklist when going through your campaigns for the coming year as a gut check to make sure you’re driving the most long-term impact with your marketing.

🎊 A quick guide to navigating a Rebrand

👨Going through a rebrand is tough.

We've learned a lot working on the rebrand for We Are Rival so below we’re sharing a quick guide for fellow marketers/ entrepreneurs who are about to embark on a rebrand.

🥅Define Your Goals:

Before diving into a rebrand, identify the practical implications and lofty intentions for the next iteration of your brand. For Rival, it meant elevating the brand design, simplifying usage rules, and establishing a branded house.

🦄 Evolution, Not Revolution:

Appreciate what works in your current brand and seek to evolve rather than overhaul. For Rival, this meant retaining elements like the pink highlight color, the VA icon, and the challenger ethos.

👨‍🎨Establish a Steering Committee (SteerCo):

Keep the creative process streamlined by forming a small committee to provide feedback. Assign clear roles and responsibilities to ensure timely communication and decision-making.

📝 Structured Feedback Process:

Utilize tools like Miro Boards to gather thoughts on existing brand elements. Categorize feedback into thematic, executional, and conceptual points to guide the designer effectively.

The full reflection of the lessons, observations, and frameworks for success can be accessed here. 👈

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