A guide to challenger thinking


PETALING JAYA: “Challenger thinking” is a mindset both big and small businesses can use to meet the new wave of challenges in this digitally-connected age, says global communications agency PHD Malaysia.

To that end, it will be hosting Overthrow II, an event that will bring together speakers and brands that have successfully challenged industry standards.

“There has been a lot of chatter about challenger thinking and disruption – but it isn’t about how big your brand is, it’s a mindset, ” said Kiron Kesav, PHD Malaysia’s general manager of strategy and platforms.

“At Overthrow II, we will talk about five or six key principles that can be adopted by any brand according to the state of growth they are in. It’s a definitive guide to challenger thinking.”

The event, held in partnership with global strategic brand consultancy eatbigfish, will also be held in over 70 other countries, as part of the worldwide launch of a book, also titled Overthrow II.

Co-authored by eatbigfish founder Adam Morgan, the book is a sequel to Overthrow: 10 Ways to Tell a Challenger Story, and will feature 10 new challenger strategies that work today.

“Overthrow needed a refresh because while everyone is talking about challenges and disruption, they are only looking at it from a marketing or advertising and communications point of view.

“It’s time to change the way we think and start looking at issues from all angles – and that’s what the book is about, ” said Kesav.

Star Media Group is the event’s official media partner, and will be represented at the event by R.AGE, which will be sharing its story of how it went from a youth lifestyle pullout to an international award-winning multimedia investigative platform.

R.AGE will be sharing the stage with founders of home-grown companies that have disrupted their respective industries, including zero-waste brand Nude and health snack company Amazin’ Graze.

“It’s great that we recognise and cultivate this ‘challenger’ mentality in Malaysia, because I’ve seen it here with R.AGE, especially with how Star Media Group gave us a platform to do things differently, and I think it’s worked out pretty well, ” said R.AGE deputy executive editor and producer Ian Yee.

The Malaysian edition of the event will also recognise the top five brands, or “Challenger Icons”, that have successfully made an impact on the local audience.

“We got a sample size of more than 1,000 people and asked them what brand stands out for them in terms of challenger thinking, ” said Kesav.

“From that survey, we identified five brands that we would like to honour as our Challenger Icons, and hope that it would inspire more challenger thinking in our industries.”

*Overthrow II will be held on Sept 24 at Ruyi & Lyn. For more information and to RSVP, log on to overthrow2my.eventbrite.com.

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