Celebrating Challenger Mom

May 9, 2014 | blog | By Mike Sullivan

If you think about it, moms and Challenger Brands have quite a few common characteristics. In honor of Mother’s Day, let’s take a look at some of the practices that make great moms and great brands successful.

If the typical mom were a brand, she would definitely be a Challenger Brand. In fact, let’s just call her Challenger Mom. She competes daily against bigger, more powerful entities in order to reach and affect the most important people in her life: her kids. She battles peer pressure, tech gadgets, poor eating and studying habits, video game addiction … the list goes on and on. Challenger Mom fights to do what’s best for her kids, and it’s a constant struggle to speak louder than the competition.

To delve deeper, consider a few challenger-based philosophies that just about all moms naturally embody. In his book Eating The Big Fish, Adam Morgan outlines eight Challenger Credos, at least three of which go hand in hand with motherhood.

1. Build a Lighthouse Identity

“Success as a Challenger Brand comes through developing a very clear sense of who you are and where you stand as a brand/business, built on a product or brand truth that is unarguable. And then projecting that identity intensely, consistently, and saliently in everything you do, to the point where, like a lighthouse’s beam, consumers notice you and can navigate by you, even if they are not looking for you.”

If there’s one thing successful Challenger Moms are known for, it’s establishing a very firm, very clear sense of where they stand on everything. When this stance is communicated and enforced properly, kids will absolutely navigate by Challenger Mom’s beacon. Or risk getting their little butts shipwrecked.

2. Create a Symbol of Reevaluation

“Successful Challengers are brands in a hurry: they need to puncture the consumer’s autopilot and create reappraisal of themselves and their category swiftly and powerfully. To do so, they create big, impactful acts or marketing ideas that capture the indifferent consumer’s imagination and bring about a reevaluation of both their image in the consumer’s mind, and their role in the consumer’s life.”

Raise your hand if you had your autopilot punctured weekly during childhood. Swiftly, yes. Powerfully, yes. This “reevaluation” is the equivalent of Challenger Mom saying, “Do you know who you’re dealing with?”

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3. Sacrifice

“Challengers have fewer resources in almost every aspect of the business and marketing mix than the market leader, however the ability to sacrifice and concentrate their focus, voice and actions is actually one of the few advantages a Challenger has. Success for a Challenger comes not from prioritizing, but by deciding what they are going to sacrifice in order to communicate their identity.”

Sacrifice is what motherhood is all about. Challenger Mom will drop her career, hobbies, friends, daily habits (such as eating meals), and whatever else it takes to focus on and provide for her children.

So let’s hear it for Challenger Moms. For the love, the sacrifice, the discipline, and the million other reasons we should make it a point to celebrate our moms not only on Mother’s Day, but every day of the year.

Jim Green is an Associate Creative Director at Dallas Ad Agency The LOOMIS Agency.

For more blogs like this, check out these posts:

challenger branding

Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


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