iMedia Brand Summit: Challenger brands have to slay monsters

At the 2015 iMedia Brand Summit held in San Diego, Julian Alridge, who is the VP of Brand Activation at Charles Schwab, delivered a keynote address in which he asked an interesting question “Which wall does the brand go on?” Brands on a wall? Interesting concept.

So what was the answer to Julian’s question? It was Every Wall. He said: “Your brand is the wall, and the wall is your brand.” Interesting, worthy of contemplation, slightly hard to decipher. In short, it means every touch point that a customer has with a brand
defines that brand.

Alridge offered a perspective pulled from extensive experience and the many studies about brands and advertising. He shared four things:

  1. Your brand is a microsignal
  2. Technology will always allow brands to leapfrog one another
  3. Brands are like insurance policies. Through every interaction brand trust is build up
  4. Brands need to think and act like challengers. They need to “slay monsters”

He shared that your brand works as a “micro-signal” for your product or service and emphasized that many brands are “belief-driven.” The most interesting brands, Alridge shared, are the ones that are reinventing themselves, that have to be challengers, challengers who have to reinvent and redefine.

It’s an interesting concept, borne out by the advertising run by brands such as Dove and Charles Schwab. They have staked out different and highly creative positioning.

Challenger brands have to slay monsters and create advocates, not just buyers. Some great advice we picked up from the iMedia Brand Summit.