Zag Ep. 56 - SVB, Credit Suisse, Mint Mobile - Lessons for Delivering on Your Brand Promise Like a Challenger

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👀What Challengers Need To Know This Week

🗓️It's been a week full of mergers, acquisitions, and failures of brands from finance to telco and a masterclass in building/destroying trust and why the CMO should be cross functional.

Aside from the obvious (financial mismanagement, scandals etc), what separates the winners from the losers? It’s their continued ability to deliver on their brand promise to their shareholders, employees and customers. Although this isn't the only reason, it’s an important determinant in the long term success of a brand.

What is a “brand promise” for each of these winners/losers and how has it propelled or destroyed their asset value in a matter of days in some cases?


Promise = We’re always here to support the startup and will always have your money safely stored.

Reality = We made some bad decisions which we’re trying to put right but we might not have enough cash on hand to pay you.

Result = Run on the bank.  

💥Mint Mobile

Promise = We offer incredible service at a low cost.

Reality = We offer incredible service at a low cost.

Result = We’re getting paid $1.35 billion by T-Mobile.

The brand promise may be as simple or nonsensical as you’d like, but the ability to repeatedly take actions which support the brand promise is the core tenant. But how do you do this in practice?  We can learn 2 things from True Rival brands when it comes to this.

👉1. Start with the brand promise to define the actions you will take regardless if it’s product, finance or marketing.

👉2. An executive team who all believe in the brand promise and hold each other accountable for their ability to deliver on the brand promise laid out by the CMO.

The greater the delta becomes between brand and actions, CMO and CXO, the worse off you are as a business and the faster your trust with your community erodes.

Want a real life example? We recently had Aron North, Mint Mobile’s CMO come and explain just how closely he and the CFO of Mint Mobile work and how that’s allowed them to create campaigns that resonate and build a community.

📕Brand to Study

📪On the point of building a community not an audience, the brand breakdown this week features Mini Katana - a relatively unknown sword brand which has 1.98m subscribers on YouTube and has scaled to $10m in annual sales using organic YouTube videos only.


Well - their founder Isaac has a pretty straightforward formula when it comes to

Quantity, Quality, & Distribution.


YouTube is a hungry beast that needs to be fed on a diet of both long form and short form.

  • Long form video 1x per week
  • YouTube Shorts 7x per week

7 per week!? I know - but remember, he isn’t cutting all new content for the shorts, often he is pulling out the most relevant points from his existing content.  


How did he decide what content to create?

3 core focus areas:

  • Focus on the educational points around the product.
  • Scour the comments sections for questions and create content in line with those.
  • Create for your audience. He knows that his core audience are also anime fans, so he creates content focussed on specific swords from anime.


And how did he scale the distribution without paying?

  • Investing real time into understanding what great creative looks like.
  • By utilizng all the new YT features like community posts and polls to engage further with his existing audience.
  • By replying to comments immediately.

Definitely a lot of repeatable tips which any brand can use. Watch this space as we launch YT shorts with Rival in this coming week…

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