There are countless reasons Americans love the challenger. As we noted in the opening chapter of our book, “The Voice of the Underdog,” it could stem from our cultural intolerance of bullies. The notion that it’s unfair to pick on someone or something smaller coupled with our competitive nature fires a primal urge in most of us to stand up and fight for the little guy. But that’s just the beginning of why we cheer for the underdog. And why The LOOMIS Agency has committed our entire focus to building challenger brand clients.
Why we love the challenger.
As people (and an agency), we love challenger brands because we love a great story. Every civilization the world has ever known has revered people who could tell a great story. We’re no different. Stories help us see our place in the world. They frame light and dark, right and wrong, life and death. Underdog stories give us something to cheer for and, often, something to aspire to. There are no stories more heartwarming or inspirational than those of challengers overcoming unbeatable odds.
Underdogs are universal. Every culture has “haves” and “have nots.” Those who are blessed and those who are less fortunate. And whether an underdog is defined by their size, race, gender, or nationality, we can all recognize them. We know how the underdog’s story ends most of the time. But we’ve also seen them pull the upset. To win against every conceivable odd. That’s what we cheer for.
When we look at challengers, we see ourselves. No matter how our personal stories have unfolded, at one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves in the role of the underdog.