The makeup of a challenger brand marketing team (and the type of branding agency they should seek out)

BRIGADE BRIGADE, is an independent, woman-owned branding and design agency providing distinct creative solutions that re-energize tired brands and help savvy marketing teams take on the leaders in the category.

At BRIGADE, we spend a lot of time working with challenger brands and have gotten a good look at what makes them tick and how they operate. From the cheap seats, their marketing teams look a lot like marketing teams anywhere (same roles, same titles, same end goal). However, look a little closer and you realize that the mindset of the people making up these teams is different. Marketing professionals working for challenger brands have a tendency to be (even more) competitive, goal-oriented, driven, and most importantly, confident. They have to make difficult decisions, and in some cases, decisions that carry risk.

Additionally, these teams (traditionally) are managing a smaller budget than a market leader. They have to do more with less. They need to be creative and think outside the box to get from point A to point B successfully. And because of these things, they work best with a branding agency that does the following:

  • They have a challenger mindset 
    A challenger brand needs a branding agency that’s nimble, pivots quickly based on ongoing learnings, approaches projects creatively so that money can go further, and offers creative solutions to challenges (cookie-cutter won’t do).
  • They prioritize consistency
    Consistency builds muscle memory and stickiness, so any branding team working with a challenger brand needs to understand this. The ideal setup is a boutique agency with fewer than 25 people that will guarantee a consistent creative director and writer assigned to the work. Keeping the tone of voice and visual identity consistent is crucial. 
  • They sweat the details
    Challenger brands have lean teams putting money into marketing buys and experiences rather than overhead. These small but mighty teams need a branding firm that helps with the lift. From ensuring that work is on-brand to watching that brand assets are being used consistently in building the brand day to day. There’s a lot to do and keep track of, and every partner should be willing and able to contribute to the load.
  • They value collaboration
    Good ideas come from anywhere. Working together on a shared goal can lead to faster, more succinct solutions. Agencies that have a dedicated, highly collaborative team are able to see solutions from all angles. Many small ideas can turn into the winning big idea. 

If you want your brand to stand out and you are prepared to boldly challenge the front runners, you will want to invest in a partner that understands what it takes. Working with an agency that works hard and hustles can be a game changer when it comes to helping you get noticed. At BRIGADE, we don’t just work with Challenger Brands, we are one. So we ask; Do you run a challenger brand? Are you on a marketing team at one? If so, we’d love to talk to you about how you can keep pushing the status quo with stand-out, detail-oriented, consistent creative at every touchpoint. 


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