Do established brands need to start behaving differently?

Challenging The Challengers examines the rise of the challenger brand and the increased threat this presents to established brands. It explores what is driving this movement and the behaviours that are contributing to challenger success in winning over the consumer. It raises the question: ‘Do established brands need to start behaving differently?’, before answering with an unmitigated ‘yes they do’.

To start getting under the skin of this business-critical issue, we commissioned quantitative research amongst over 1000 people who had recently switched from established brands to challenger brands across 8 categories: food, soft drinks, alcohol, household products, healthcare, toiletries, beauty, grooming products.

We gathered invaluable insights and used them to create a clearly defined picture of the threat posed by the Challenger, along with strategic pointers for survival and success as an established brand.

For the 10 key take-outs for brands to act upon, refer to the full report. In the meantime, here is the reality:

5 harsh truths


1. Challengers are impacting all categories

After food (57%), some two fifths (39%) of consumers say they have switched to a challenger brand in toiletries, followed by alcohol (35%), beauty (34%), household products (32%), healthcare (31%), soft drinks (29%), and grooming products (28%).


2. The switch to challengers is likely to be permanent

44% say they intend to stick with the brand they’ve switched to.


3. Challengers are delivering to expectations 

50% of respondents say challenger brands are seen to provide good value for money.


4. Higher consideration favours challenger brands

Especially true for food purchases, with over a half (60%) of shoppers saying that the more invested they are in a purchase the more likely they are to switch.


5. People recognise and respond positively to the Challenger mindset

People recognise and respond positively to the purpose and personality presented by Challengers – particularly younger consumers, aged 16-34.

This report features quantitative research carried out in October 2018.

Get in Touch

To get in touch or to request a hard copy of the white paper, please contact Simon or Abby who will be happy to discuss further.

Simon Callender, Creative Planning Director

Abby Hartley, Head of Marketing