1: Confidence is King
We often hear that cash is king, which may be true, but for Conor McGregor and challenger brands, confidence is king. One of the most consistent features of McGregor is his confidence. You see it and hear it in everything he does. From his clothes to his press conferences, there is never a moment where you doubt the confidence McGregor has in himself to do what he set out to do. This does not mean he is always successful, he has lost three times in his career so far, but he never lets a loss decrease his confidence. Instead, he uses that loss to fuel him for the future. Even against all odds on Saturday night, there will not be a single moment that you will see McGregor lose confidence or doubt himself.
It is very important in business to be confident in your abilities, product, and your brand. Not everyone will love your brand, and not every idea you have will be a great one. You may also be questioned by people about what you are doing or why you are doing it. But that should never prevent you from having confidence in your ability to grow your company. Instead, any failures you have along the way should be used as a learning lesson and give you confidence that you will be successful in your next product or endeavor. Ask any successful entrepreneur if they’ve ever failed. All the ones I’ve talked to have said they failed more than they succeeded, but when they did succeed they hit it big. They were never crippled by fear of failure and never let that waiver their confidence. This is incredibly important because losing confidence will cause you to question yourself and potentially prevent you from acting on the next great idea because of a fear of failure. If you’re afraid to fail, being a challenger brand isn’t for you.
2: Be Bold, Consistently
Conor McGregor is a lot of things…bold and consistent might be the two biggest. He is always on brand in everything he does, and make no mistake, his brand is being carefully crafted. However, his brand fits his personality, which is important. Consumers can sense authenticity from a mile away and while McGregor’s brand is being crafted, it is also genuine and fits him.
As a true challenger brand, you must actually be willing to challenge. That means you have to be bold and consistent. Study your competitors’ positioning, find ways then find ways to differentiate your positioning. Then, show the world why you’re different. Bold marketing that aligns with your brand is what gets challenger brands noticed and the best part is you don’t need to have a large marketing budget to make an impact. Think about ways you can stand out in the market and be consistent, your customers will expect it. Otherwise, they won’t see it as authentic and you won’t convert them to loyal customers.
3: Have A Good Story To Tell
Speaking of McGregor’s carefully crafted brand, part of what has made it successful is his story. McGregor often talks about his hardship growing up in Dublin, Ireland. He describes being a plumber and making the decision to quit in order to chase his dream of becoming a fighter in the UFC. His story is compelling and he knows how to sell it, which is part of why he’s successful.
Every brand has (or should have) a story behind it and you must figure out how to sell it. To get customers emotionally invested in your brand tell them your story and why they should care. The company’s story transforms your brand from a logo into a heartbeat, and that is how people become emotionally invested in you and your brand.
4: If You Want To Mix It Up, You Have To Stir The Pot
When it comes to cheering for Conor McGregor, there isn’t much of a middle ground. He is bold, he is brash, he loves to mix it up and he doesn’t care if you love or hate him. Consequently, half of the world loves him and the other half hates him. THAT is the magic that keeps McGregor relevant, and also what sells.
The worst place for a challenger brand to be is “Brand Purgatory”. Your target market might know who you are, but they have no strong opinion about your brand either way and doing the status quo won’t get you noticed. As a challenger brand, you have to be willing to mix it up with the big boys. Trying bold new ideas will challenge the status quo, which is polarizing, but you have to be okay with the fact that you can’t be everything to everybody. Challenging the industry forces consumers to create stronger beliefs and the consumers that agree with your brand, aka your target market, will form a stronger conviction for your brand. To take customers away from the traditional brands, you must invoke a sense of conviction in your customers to switch, so mix it up and force them to pick sides.
5: Deliver On Your Promises
McGregor is referred to as “Mystic Mac” for his uncanny ability to accurately predict his fight outcomes. One of the most intriguing things about Conor is that he usually delivers on his predictions. McGregor has correctly predicted that he would be in the UFC, becoming a UFC champion, and become a UFC champion in two weight divisions. Part of what McGregor’s fans love about him is that he has made promises and he has delivered. While he may not be at a 100% success rate, his fans believe in him and believe he will deliver on his next promise. The more times he does that, the more leeway they will give him when one of his predictions doesn’t come true.
This one is short, because it is simple, and should be obvious. Make sure to deliver on your promises. If you make a bold promise you better back it up, and that will create a cult following for your brand. People love to roll with winners, so be bold, and deliver.