(This post contains affiliate hyperlinks. Please read my full disclosure.
Adam states that most books on branding “focus on what it takes to make a brand great: follow these steps and tick the boxes on a flowchart.”
“PRINCE2 (r) training is exactly like that,” I respond. These documents will make your project a success if you follow them. This is not how things work in real life.
Adam Morgan is the author of The Pirate Inside, Building a Challenger Brand Culture within Yourself and Your Organizations. This call took three attempts to get set up. It took three attempts to get this call set up.
He adds, “Most business is unplanned.”
Yes. I agree. Although most schedules can be reforecasted it doesn’t make changes any easier. Adam recommends the book Everythings an Offer by Rob Poyton, from the company On Your Feet.
They apply the skills of improvisation to business. This thought is frightening to me, but Adam assures that it isn’t all about learning how to tell jokes. It’s about learning to appreciate the fluidity of business and how to operate within it.
Changes can occur as a result a realized risk. It takes confidence to manage them effectively.
Adam says that there is a risk in taking on risk. He believes there are two options: to be intuitive like Richard Branson or to be cautious and research everything.
Successful risk takers in branding spend a lot time talking with customers to get a feel for their customers and what they would like. Because it is based upon a strong sense about what will work and what won’t, it makes risk taking less risky.
Different people have different ways to find that confidence. Adam tells me the story of James Averdieck, founder of Gu chocolate puddings. Averdieck made some mockups, took them to Waitrose, and then put them on display. If someone comes in and takes it up within 10 mins, I’ll launch my product. Two people tried to buy empty boxes. I can see someone running down the aisles, trying to steal empty boxes from shoppers who aren’t satisfied. This is a very high risk, especially since he didn’t tell Waitrose.
Adam says that different people have different ways to find their confidence.
Adam is an example of someone who has found a niche where he can work confidently. He began his career in an advertising agency in the US. He worked for clients who needed creative input to help them reach the next level. However, he didn’t have the power of the distribution channels of competitors.
The European business director used the term “challenger brands” to describe small companies that are trying to be different and compete with the big players. Adam asked, “What other information do you have?” She didn’t have any other ideas, it was only a term. Adam was due a Sabbatical.
He had originally planned to write a novel over the six-month period, but instead he decided to research challenger brands and create a business book called Eating the Big Fish. How Challenger Brands Can Compete with Brand Leaders.
Adam is a specialist in branding. However, it’s evident that there are many parallels to what I have already identified. For example, engaging the customer early. Even though it’s not a real shopper in the beginning, he will have a representative at his workshops.
He said, “We’ll invite an editor” or “someone with a good understanding the sector.” Anyone who understands the needs of customers, such as a researcher, can represent their interests at the first workshop.