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  • Writer's pictureAustin Lynch

Transform Your Marketing With This Tip

Updated: Nov 30, 2023


Let me run something by you. Let's say you owned a restaurant. Then let's say you named your restaurant after your most popular item. Do you think it would be a good idea to advertise that product?

The Challenge of Challenger Brands

Early in my advertising career, I started working with challenger brands. This is the name for brands that are going up against Goliath-sized competitors. For example:

  • The Frothy Monkey Coffee Shop vs. Starbucks

  • Salsarita’s vs. Chipotle

  • RC Cola vs. Coca-Cola

  • H.E.B. Grocery vs. Kroger

The list goes on.

As a recent college grad, I had a lot of love for the late-night shenanigans at Krystal and couldn't wait to work on their campaigns. The Goliath in the fast food burger space is, of course, Mcdonald's.

The challenge for working with a smaller brand is finding a way to stretch the budget as far as possible. That means being diligent with the when/where/who of ad placement.

Take a moment and remember the last time you enjoyed a Krystal. What time of day was it? What state of mind were you in? Who were you with? What activities were you partaking in just before ordering?

If you’re anything like me, you likely imagined yourself enjoying those savory sliders just after midnight. Obviously, coming on the heels of a beverage or two. There is a reason so many Krystals are located near college campuses.

Now that we've defined our target market, it's time to put together an advertising plan. You would think we would put the spotlight right on those beautiful square sliders. We didn't.

We got pushback every time we recommended an ad campaign focusing on the Krystal slider. Instead, we had to push their new limited-time menu items in the middle of the day. I remember specifically pushing the Shrimp Po' Boy to mid-day diners instead of showing Krystals to people enjoying the nightlife. I don't know about you, but I'm not snagging one of those before I have to return to work.

The results weren't positive. In fact, they were overwhelmingly negative. In spite of the bad numbers week after week, corporate made us keep the course. Eventually, the brand declared bankruptcy and has started working to revitalize the business.

Application for Your Business

If you’ve got a product that is loved by your customers, show it off. If you've got a product that brings in a lot of your revenue, show it off. Sometimes people just need a gentle nudge in your direction to make that purchasing decision. A subtle reminder that you’re still there can be effective. Great marketers are obsessed with learning how their customers act. It makes their messaging far more effective.

If you’ve got a product too good not to share, hit the contact us button and schedule a discovery call. We’d be more than happy to lend some advice on where you might want to focus your marketing dollars.

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