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What it Means to be a Challenger Brand

What it Means to be a Challenger Brand

Be big. Be bold. Be beautiful.

That’s what our mothers always told us, so that’s what we did!

And look what we made: CROSSIP is big, bold and beautiful! Which is pretty useful really, since we’re here to challenge the drinks industry with our lip-smacking, cocktail-ready, 0% alcohol spirits.

Ok, ok…so we may sound like we’re blowing our own trumpet just a little bit but that’s what being a challenger brand is all about - we believe in ourselves and we believe in our products! CROSSIP exists to upset the status quo because the status quo is drab and exclusionary.

Not sure what the status quo even is? Want to learn more about challenger brands? Or simply wish to find out why on earth we’re blowing trumpets? Then you’ve come to the right blog post!

What exactly is a challenger brand?

Challenger brands are those with goals and aspirations bigger than the resources available to them, with a vision to change the future of their current market. They’re brands that set themselves apart from others in their industry with a driven mindset, often boldly going against existing conventions. If this means they have to rattle a few cages, so be it.

The term challenger brand is often associated with companies who attempt to defeat their adversaries. Think Apple vs. Microsoft or, a more parodical example, This vs. Quorn. But nowadays, they’re generally much more likely to challenge a specific concept…or sometimes even both!

What are the key characteristics of a challenger brand?

In addition to having something they wish to challenge, we believe there are a few more attributes of a challenger brand worthy of mention:

1. Strong sense of self

The ability of a brand to be authentic and transparent, drawing on their beliefs to bring passion to what they do.

2. Strong sense of purpose

A brand with clear goals and a strong awareness of how it will achieve them.

3. Not afraid to question

Having the courage to speak out and challenge the norm, questioning to drive progress rather than to perturb.

4. Innovative

A challenger brand is one that nurtures creativity, encourages new ideas and discovers ingenious ways to go further despite having access to scant resources.

5. Good at inspiring and engaging others

Challenger brands don’t have to simply motivate themselves and their teams, they have to be able to inspire an active community who share their vision.

6. Not afraid of rejection or setbacks

Most importantly, challenger brands must be equipped with enough optimism and tenacity to face critical feedback or setbacks whilst maintaining realistic expectations (keep reading for a fantastic example of a brand that has done this well).

Who are some examples of challenger brands in 2022?


Of course, we had to start with ourselves! As a non-alcoholic spirits brand, we strongly believe that adults should be able to enjoy a sophisticated no or low alcohol drink whenever they please. Whether that’s at home, out for a family meal or dancing the night away with friends.

But at CROSSIP, we don’t just imitate the existing spirits. Instead, we’ve curated our own pioneering maceration technique with the intention of creating the taste that delivers the complexities required for the base of a great drink.

Drinking NoLo is a way of life, not a phase and not just for Dry January, it’s a choice we should all be able to make. We exist to challenge the existing perception of the alcohol-free market and to bring inclusive yet sophisticated and, quite frankly, incredibly delicious drinks to the masses.


loveyourself challenger brand food

Love Yourself

Whilst there are many meal delivery services available nowadays, Love Yourself stands out from the crowd with their meals designed to challenge the status quo of dieting. They believe that eating freshly-grown fruits and vegetables is the best way to ensure food maintains its nutritional value without the use of preservatives, chemicals or dyes.

Love Yourself exists to bring nutritious yet delicious, quick and easy meals for those who want to eat more healthily, without the hassle of planning out their own diet plans. They have an incredibly inclusive range of plans including Performance Diet, Keto Plan, Dairy-Free Vegetarian Diet and Gluten-Free Diet, so you’ll always find an option that’s right for you.

"Diets don't have to be boring. With the right preparation, and using the right ingredients, they can be just as good if not better than Deliveroo type takeaways. Our secret weapon is our Co-Founder and Chef Director, Michal Snela, who spent his career in Michelin restaurants and his menu development is second to none in the industry. The guy is simply amazing."
- Wojtek, LoveYourself


oatly challenger brand


We couldn’t talk about challenger brands without mentioning Oatly. In just three years, Oatly proved to the world that even tired old food processing companies can transform into a fearless challenger brand. So fearless, that the company incorporates insults and critical feedback into its marketing strategy. For example, Oatly displayed “It tastes like sh*t” (a real comment from an individual trying Oatly for the first time) on their packaging and on their ads - check it out here!

Oatly continues to foster an active community of “oat milk revolutionaries” otherwise known as the “post-milk generation” who share their vision of a better future for the planet whilst celebrating the taste of oats.


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