Tom Mercer, an ex-management consultant, set out to challenge the accepted notions of breakfast on the go in 2006. His bircher breakfasts and oat shakes, boldly branded by Pearlfisher, are now available at London train stations, Waitrose, Ocado and on Virgin flights. Tom's aim is to banish bad breakfasts. His wholegrain jumbo oats soaked in apple juice, combined with low fat Dorset probiotic yoghurt and fruit, are sustaining and delicious. (Especially the blueberry one.)
Check out his splendid Vote for Oats campaign here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6llHZvmJPFw
Alex Smith, Head of Retail Operations and Marketing, shared with me what they have learnt from Pearlfisher about being a challenger brand:
1. Challengers are not the no.2 or me-too brands, but brands that wish to change things in their category and beyond, with a new perspective.
2. They do not challenge for the sake of challenging or simply for commercial impact. They challenge with a clear purpose to bring about real change.
3. They do not just play to trends, attitudes or styles that will create reaction and get attention. They create their own original vision.
4. Challenger brands have the confidence to be different and the integrity to stay true to themselves.
Alex and Tom say: "We have taken this to heart and endeavour to integrate it into everything we do. Pearlfisher have helped us deliver this by designing us a new colour palette that is natural yet foodie , but deliberately bold in both design and typography. A design that really stands out and reflects the single-minded nature of our food offer and the 'strong spirited tone of voice'."
Watch out for them oat mobbing near you!