4 min

Challenger Summit 2018: What The Challengers Are Doing

Elizabeth McCumber

This blog is part of a series on Wpromote’s Challenger Summit. You can check out the recap and other posts here.

First things first: what is a Challenger, again? Challengers are brands which go beyond conventional thinking to transform problems into opportunities and redefine success. These companies are the makers, movers and shakers, unafraid to try something new, take a risk, and be bold.

Zappos! Is Obsessed

Fungineer Tyler Williams shared challenger traits of Zappos! including all of the things the company is “obsessed” with and why obsession is a way to stay laser-focused.

With Employees

Getting into Zappos! is rumored to be harder than getting into Harvard. Culture fit is of critical importance, with the CEO stressing  “first culture, and the rest will follow”. Creating a feeling of family makes coming to work much better and trust a lot higher.

With Community

When Zappos! sold to Amazon for hundreds of millions, the CEO turned around and invested $350 million into the local community via the Downtown Project. Additionally, he launched the Life is Beautiful festival to create an experience for the people of Las Vegas, the hometown of Zappos! HQ. The festival had sold out in 3 hours and had over 185K attendees.

With Customers

Zappos! strives to make “wow” a verb. First, they offered free next-day shipping. This was, at the time, something no one else was doing. Then they free returns for 365 days and ultra-fast exchanges. This made Zappos shine as more than a place to buy shoes and clothes; it was now positioned as a service company, with the core focus being placed on customer satisfaction and experience.

SnackNation Banks On What People Need

Andy Mackensen, CEO of SnackNation, created the company to make healthy snacks as affordable and accessible as junk food. Despite the dwindling attention spans of consumers and constantly changing technology, one thing won’t ever go away: snacks.

Right Message, Right Market

SnackNation identified the office manager as their core buyer and decision-maker. He or she was always busy, trying to please many people, and juggling hundreds of projects at once. SnackNation would be able to cater to them. Knowing who their “avatar” was and meeting them with messaging tailored to them made all the difference. Help that person solve the problem they didn’t even know they had.

Make an Irresistible Offer

Define your “free” threshold and push it. Offering 6 snacks for $1 helped to drive customer acquisition and get people on board for a trial run. Once you hook them in with a great deal, you have a new customer that will get to experience the quality and convenience of your product, and will likely return to purchase at full price. If you believe in what you’re selling, giving it away can make great sense.

ConBody Upleveled Experiential

Coss Marte started ConBody Fitness after getting in shape behind bars and helping other inmates get fit too. Taking a bad experience and turning into a booming business that defies stereotypes is truly challenger material.

Invite Customers In

ConBody took its origin story and leveraged that for an experiential differentiator. Something that could have been a black mark on the history of how the company came to become the focal point and attraction for customers. Coss made a glitch a feature, something we’ve seen the most innovative leaders doing for decades.

Walk the Talk

Coss hires formerly incarcerated individuals as a way to help them reintegrate into society after serving time. And since opening, none of the ConBody employees have ended up back in prison. These results show the company and the founder’s true commitment to creating better futures for people, both that they hire and train.

Challenge Everything

Challengers are pushing the status quo and shaking up the way things are typically done in business. The value of challengers is that they pave the way for new experiences, new adaptations, and next-level offerings. Customers become brand loyalists or evangelists when this kind of spirit emanates from a brand. How is your business challenging itself to succeed?

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