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Rise of the underdogs: Top quality challenger brands

As a young but ingenious and award-winning public relations agency with a dogged and determined attitude at our core, we love to see smaller firms shaking up industries. It’s what makes the professional world exciting, as often these are the brands using the most innovative business models and PR concepts.
With the recent news that Aldi, Lidl and Waitrose have all made further increases to their respective shares of UK supermarket sales- at the expense of ASDA, Sainsburys, Tesco and Morrisons- it seemed an apt moment to run through some of our favourite underdogs-turned-challenger brands. All of which, we might add, are doing very well for themselves.
Of all three rising grocery chains Aldi saw the biggest gains, with 4.6% of the UK customer base now preferring the German discounter. Walking away with The Grocer’s Best Supermarket title for the last two years speaks volumes about the quality on its shelves, and our other criteria is more than met in the marketing stance; Like Brands. Only Cheaper- we couldn’t put it clearer ourselves.
Henry Herbert
With Savile Row’s old guard dominating tailor made garments, Henry Herbert had his work cut out getting established in the suit-making business. Nevertheless, his concept of fitters nipping through London traffic on mopeds to measure customers at the office, in the home, and anywhere else you can get undressed, is working.
Citizen M
The Dutch hotel chain offers affordable luxury, and has a design model featuring soundproofed rooms that take up less than 50% of the usual space, self-check in booths and 24-hour dining on fresh food. Sites in Glasgow, London, Rotterdam and Amsterdam are already open with New York and Paris arriving imminently.
Even though Netflix boasts 40.4million worldwide subscribers it still qualifies. After all, this may be the market leader in on-demand TV content, but the recent move into producing shows like House of Cards and Orange means it’s once again a small-ish fish, this time in a big pond dominated by the likes of HBO, Fox and ABC.
As regular readers will know, we have a lot of admiration for the Scottish microbrewery turned trendy bar and off license mainstay. For one thing, it takes serious guts to take on the major booze brands, meanwhile, for the most part, the brand’s willingness to voice an opinion, such as the recent reaction to the Portnman Group alcohol industry body, is as refreshing as the beer itself.

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