Marketing Dividends: 'Being a challenger is about what you’re challenging, not who'

Sarah Homewood
By Sarah Homewood | 9 November 2016
eatbigfish's Adam Morgan

Brands are no longer challenging each other, they're challenging whole categories, founder of international strategic brand consultancy eatbigfish, Adam Morgan, has told the AANA's Marketing Dividends program.

Morgan, who wrote a book titled 'Eating The Big Fish' in 1999, outlined that when he penned the book the digital revolution hadn't happened, and what digital has meant for challenger brands is that now it's much easier to find and engage with customers, as well as reinvent whole pre-established categories.

“People are also realising that as a business, being a challenger is about what you’re challenging, not who. In 1999 it was Adidas versus Nike, or Virgin versus British Airways. Now, it’s Airbnb challenging the conventions of a hospitality business or Spotify challenging ownership of music and finding we don’t need to own music to enjoy it,” he says.

Morgan was in Australia to speak at the AANA's Reset conference. During his keynote at Reset, Morgan explained that living in a world of ever-increasing constraint, marketers need to embrace such limitations and use them as a launch pad to wield their ambitions. He also explained that there's beauty in constraint, raising the example surrounding how Virgin America launched in the US against Southwest Airlines, with a limited budget, by turning the interior of an aircraft into a Victoria Secret catwalk.

He also talked about this on Marketing Dividends saying: “They wanted to put glamour back into the sky. They had mood lighting in the cabin that makes people feel cool. But because they didn’t have the marketing budget to show it, they needed somebody else to take pictures of it and show it, so they put a fashion show in the middle of the cabin that made the media want to show pictures. This is a great example of taking what should have been a limitation and turning it into something that made them even cooler, because they’re being creative.”

Watch the episode for yourself below:

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