I've always worked on challenger brands, with one exception. Challengers are much better than number ones - more fun, more interesting, less complacency.
So naturally, I've joined Eatbigfish's Challenger Project community. You should too. And if you haven't read Eating the Big Fish by Adam Morgan yet, you should do that too, it's one of two genuine essentials for planners. As far as other books are concerned, the less they are 'planning books' the better. Fish where others do not.
Anyway, it doesn't matter if you work for number one's or not, these days, the best way to stay a number one is tothink like challenger. That's why I think Nike has stayed ahead all these years - they wouldn't do work like this otherwise. Compare that to big lumbering L'oreal,
or Gillette who need god knows how much quant to hit on the shallow observation that men like to be treated as individuals (they don't by the way, they just think they do). Or the clunky champions stuff..
By the way, I quite the 'best a man can get' stuff
- I remember it for starters and it was particular view on manhood that isn't really different to Old Spice
or Dove today.......
....a real man is experienced - it was just executed in a different time, before Americans got irony, or found out that Europeans did.
Anyway, that was the disappointment with the number one I did work on, they'd become complacent, lazy and believed their own hype.
So I suggest you join in (it's free) there's plenty to read and watch.
For starters, here's Naresh Ramchamdani's observation that digital, cheaper media is the same as expensive media and firepower - people know when you've made an effort to do something special and reward you with engagement (you'll have to join first which will take seconds)
And here's Russell's take on post digital, the internet of thingsand the general 'digitalisation' of physical objects (on another note, of you want to know about the important of 'things' in our lives I would read this first, then decide what making them part of the fabric of the web could/should mean.