Challenger Ways #3: Three Things Challenger Brands Can Learn From Ted Lasso

Benriach Original 10

“Challenger Ways” explores what challenger brands can learn from some of our most favourite cultural moments.


So, what lessons can challenger brands take from how the fictional Richmond FC ‘greyhounds’ went from under-dog to top-dog?


Lesson #1 – Being the underdog frees you up.

The genius thing about being a challenger is that, unlike the category leader, you’re not in the spotlight. Other brands, competitors and critics aren’t watching your every move, waiting to celebrate your stumbles.


Knowing that you are not in the spotlight, frees you up to behave unconventionally and take some risks. Ted Lasso and Coach Beard take the chance to shake up the game, to play the wild card every now and again, to experiment with different game plans and constantly surprise people.


Lesson #2 – Don’t fight back, fight forward.

Like Richmond FC, challenger brands need to get comfortable with disappointment but when bad things happen it’s easy to let anger take hold and get locked in a state of victimhood.


Ted and the team go through countless disappointments but refuse to get thrown off track. Ted’s philosophy that we should be like goldfish and forget quickly is a great reminder for resilience. So, forgive and forget, look forward, remain focussed on your goal and say to yourself “BIGWHOOP!”


Lesson #3 – Strive for progress, not perfection.


Ted Lasso’s superpower is his boundless enthusiasm and positivity - despite knowing he’s far from perfect. Whilst it’s about as palatable as sucking on a lemon for some, you can’t help but ultimately fall for his spell.


This positive attitude is demonstrated through his celebration of every win – no matter how small. This can-do attitude has a ripple effect that raises the team game.


As a challenger brand, you don’t have to win to succeed. Noticing and embracing the small wins is a powerful motivator. A crucial part of this mentality is accepting that you’re only human and have faults. Ted Lasso struggles with anxiety and asking for help is a turning point for him and the team.


True growth comes when we believe in ourselves enough, even on hard days to maintain confidence and keep look for the positives and remember that small improvements add up to big wins.


Look out for Edition #4 of Challenger Ways, coming soon.