In 1999 “EATING THE BIG FISH” became a must read for the brand marketing community right around the world.
The author was Adam Morgan, European Planning Director of TBWA at the time. We were all motivated about the notion of Challenger Brands or “Little Fish” and the case studies to demonstrate how they have successfully eaten the “Big Fish”.
Now just a decade or so later it would appear that the little fish may have lost the courage or determination to take on and beat the brand leaders. This may be my perception only, but I cannot think of a recent example where a new or small brand has taken the fight to a category leader and prevailed with a meaningful market share.
Adam Morgan’s book at the time suggested Eight Credos of Successful Challenger Brands, of which I found the following worth sharing again:
These characteristics of successful Challenger Brands appear as relevant today and available to any brand owner with the desire to take on the Big Fish.
One should recognise several factors that may have contributed to my perceived decline in the Little Fish population. Years of merger and acquisition activity have created even more powerful Big Fish, the retail environment around the world has become tougher and more costly for emerging brands.
However, are these simply excuses for the Little Fish not to have a go?
Surely today’s consumers are better informed, certainly more promiscuous and seemingly open-minded enough to embrace a cheeky but imaginative new brand?Back