Challenger brands have a big mountain to climb in 2021.  Actually…a few big mountains if we’re being real.

Smaller budgets, competition with deep pockets, and a category riddled with sameness can be major obstacles toward getting your challenger brand off the ground this year and launching toward success.

So, because challenger brands need to think and do things differently, we’ve come up with 10 tips on how to break through the noise in 2021. Enjoy.

TEN WAYS YOUR CHALLENGER BRAND CAN WIN BIG IN 2021

10. KEEP CREATING

When you don’t advance your knowledge or get stuck in a spot where you aren’t challenging yourself, it’s easy to lose momentum and hit a creative block. Keep making things. Learn different ways of creating. Take risks.

Empower yourself to try something new and find a different solution — it might work, it might not. It’s OK to fumble around and be surprised by the ‘happy accidents’ you discover along the way.

9. Make your brand experience memorable

Your website, email or social might be the first impression they have of you as a brand, make sure it’s a great experience!

From the messaging to the layout make sure you are putting forth the brand that you want the customer to remember.

8. TAKE MORE CREATIVE RISKS

Get out of the rut of doing what works. Today’s consumers are hungry for new creative ideas and content that’s actually FUN to consume.

Anything great can become boring when done over and over again. If you feel like you’re churning out the same, standard content, your fans will be feeling the same. Give them something unexpected to get excited about!

7. OWN YOUR CONTENT

Creating content is not just putting pen to paper. Nope. It’s taking what you’ve created and supercharging it with 20,000 volts of electricity and sending shockwaves straight into the souls of your customers.

Own your content – from start to finish. Don’t just press publish. Make it work for you.

6. MAKE SURE YOUR BRAND STANDS OUT

Be conscious of how you can bring your brand experience to life in a virtual atmosphere. Leveraging video and stop motion photography is becoming increasingly important and is key in grabbing someone’s attention while allowing you flexibility to showcase product/service attributes in a more fun and engaging way.

5. KNOW YOUR 2021 BUSINESS GOALS & BUILD A CLEAR PLAN TO EXECUTE THEM

Knowing your goals is only half the battle. Bringing it to life in a clear-cut business plan is crucial. And don’t forget to build in some flexibility, so when things change (because they will) you can pivot quickly in a new direction.

4. EMBRACE SMART TECH

Make it a priority to learn more about smart tech (artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.) and consider the opportunities they will bring on everything from content strategy to search, and from display campaigns to even the customer service experience.

3. GIVE YOUR CUSTOMERS WHAT THEY WANT

Invest headspace (and dollars) into knowing what your consumer is asking for—and how you deliver it in a truly unique way. You might find that what they want is a lot different from what you thought was wrapped up. Emotional intelligence is as appealing for brands as it is in people.

P.S. Never follow the competition…nobody wants to get the same thing they got last year.

2. BUILD AUTHENTIC PARTNERSHIPS

Your brand, product, or idea might be the best thing since sliced bread but remember you’re not the expert in everything. Nobody is. Let your guard down and be honest about what your strengths are, and then align yourself with a partner or partners to help fill in the gaps. It truly takes a team to build a brand.

AND THE #1 WAY YOUR CHALLENGER BRAND CAN WIN BIG IN 2021 IS…