How To Own A Brand Positioning

Ah, The Brand Positioning – How Are You Going To Own Yours?

Screen Shot 2017-03-04 at 8.55.44 AMAll of the medium to small advertising, PR, design and digital agencies I work with (even network agencies) are by nature, challenger brands. As in, they are not R/GA or Droga 5 or 72andSunny or today’s hottest – pick your current digital-flavor-of-the-month specialist. I’m sure you know what challenger brand means and that is one of your potential brand positionings but… Here is a nice clear definition of challenger brand from

A challenger brand is a company or product brand in an industry that is not the category leader. The term denotes the fact that such companies have to play from a position behind the dominant player or leader in an industry. This makes the process of marketing significant to attracting customers.

The nurturing of challenger brands is one of the marketing agency positionings that I’ve discussed on this blog and with many of my agency clients. No, it is not a brand new proposition. But, it has power since most brands are by nature challenges and, as stated above, marketing is critical to elevating a challenger brand to brand leadership. This makes having a dedication to helping challenger brands a winning proposition.

Eat Bigger Smaller Fish

Screen Shot 2017-03-03 at 9.36.38 PMI have been following the challenger brand consultancy Eat Big Fish for years. They are without question the leading consultancy in this space and their leader Adam Morgan is the numero uno voice of the challenger brand market. I have used Eat Big Fish in my agency business development recommendations as one of the benchmark agencies that I believe represents a best of class B2B marketer. As in, how they market themselves under, inside and around their positioning umbrella.

Eat Big Fish is an excellent example of a marketing company that has a single-minded sales proposition, a well-defined market and a dedication to thought leadership that… makes them, without question, the thought leader, “I must talk to them” leader in their category.

How They Do It

I think that, no, I know that, EBF (I hope they don’t mind the abbreviation, I just don’t like typing ‘fish’ too often) can offer some direction for all agencies.

EBF nailed their approach to a large hungry market. And, they appear to be early in. Or, even better, they market themselves so well, that they look like they were early in.

They nailed their brand name and logo. Ah, the British and branding.

They nailed their messaging.


  • Adam Morgan established his credentials in 2009 by writing the book, “Eating The Big Fish”.
  • Their latest book, “A Beautiful Constraint”, speaks directly to today’s time and resource scarcity. Here is how they describe the book: “A Beautiful Constraint is a book about everyday, practical inventiveness, designed for the constrained times in which we live. It describes how to take the kinds of issues that all of us face today — lack of time, money, resources, attention, know-how — and see in them the opportunity for transformation of oneself and one’s organization’s fortunes.” Oh, they have two more books. I like ‘agencies’ that write books. Here’s is a blog post on how to do that.
  • EBF has a hard to resist sales proposition: “We enable ambitious brands of all shapes and sizes to do more more with less.” Um like, what client would you want that isn’t ambitious and would just love it if you offered them a high ROI?
  • Their Our Work section delivers on their strategic focus and client benefits. Nice, clear and concise. Like, if you were a big brand, why wouldn’t you give these guys a call? Plus, they sound like they play nice with the other children – they fit in seamlessly between the brand and the brand’s agency.
  • EBF’s thought-leadership is, well, thoughtful. This series is timely, thought-provoking, insightful, and fun to read. It would be of interest to any client out there: “Challengers To Watch In 2017”. Cool! I love this one — Impossible Foods. Imagine trying to challenge the all-beeeeeef burger.
  • They give good videos. Check out their Speeches page.
  • They nail client testimonials. Most agency client testimonials are — boring. These are not.

And… you should subscribe to their newsletter. You’ll see why after you get one. The pitch: “Sign up to The Challenger Project and get our monthly roundup of challenger inspiration every last Friday.”

One thing I dig about their approach is that their focus is on sharing the insights and stories from the broader world of challenger brands.  Whether client or not, eatbigfish get out of the way of the story.

Inspiring in an agency world where we just cannot stop talking about ourselves. Ya know what I mean?

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