The Challengers: Jo Moore, Executive Brand Director, Lenovo

The Challengers: Jo Moore, Executive Brand Director, Lenovo

Executive Brand Director, Jo Moore, leads a team of global marketers at Lenovo, developing brand strategy, identity and content for products including Motorola, Think and Yoga. Their remit is to relentlessly drive innovation from the pocket to the data centre; she’s here to break the rules and deliver unexpected experiences that make people’s lives better.

Ironically, there are almost too many challenger brands now; being a challenger is becoming the norm. The trick is not becoming too big or same-same that you no longer challenge anything, or inadvertently become the thing which you once set out to challenge in the first place. For a challenger brand to succeed now, they need to set a clear enemy to challenge – not a brand or business, as they change constantly, but something universal and relevant, now and in the future.

At Lenovo we are challenging the status quo of sameness. We are inspiring consumers to think and behave differently and embrace difference in all aspects of life, beyond aesthetics. Different for us is an attitude, and it’s our competitive advantage in all that we create.

Consumers like things to be different, and I definitely feel that there has always been a love of the underdog, which is the key advantage of a challenger brand. Humans evolve all the time; they find themselves wanting to choose of their own accord. Often this freedom is expressed in choosing the less-popular, quirky alternative, something or someone who represents the freedom of imagination and inspiration to go beyond and create something remarkable. As the underdog we have nothing to lose, and this gives us the unique ability to experiment and take risks.

Working with a challenger very much fits my personality. I like to zig while others zag, and I lead a life less ordinary in many ways. Without challenger brands the world would become complacent, boring and stagnant. As a challenger brand we have the luxury of being able to take risks and experiment, bringing new innovations into market. In turn, this enables people to live out their lives more on their own terms, making the world that little bit more interesting.

Ultimately, I believe brands which act with heart and take time to understand their customer’s needs, are the ones which succeed. The Body Shop and Old Spice are two great examples of brands which have acted bravely and taken risks in their approach to targeting and retaining customers by innovating. Both brands clearly took the time to consider what they stood for and remained true to their values, which in turn gave them a much clearer idea of how they could provide further value to their customers.

To peers and colleagues I say: never stop daring to be different, but don’t allow that to let you lose sight of what you were challenging at the beginning. Remember life is meant to be fun; when it stops being interesting then look to zig, change, evolve and if you can’t, then walk away.

 

 



Sign up for the StoryScience NewsletterIncludes our must-read editorial series, Marketing Science Cheat Sheets, which have been designed to make you the smartest person in the room during your next marketing meeting.