Challenger Brands Uncensored: Insights from Lucky Saint and Vinted at Madfest 2024

July 04, 2024

As a business development consultancy specialising in advising marketing agencies, attending Madfest 2024 was a goldmine of insights. One of the standout sessions was “Challenger Brands Uncensored,” featuring conversations with two dynamic brands: Lucky Saint and Vinted. The session, expertly moderated by Jon Evans, CMO of Uncensored, provided a treasure trove of actionable advice for brands looking to make their mark. Here’s a summary of the key points from the discussions with Kerttu Inkeroinen, Marketing Director of Lucky Saint, and Andrew Smith, Senior Brand Director of Vinted.


Vinted: Scaling with Speed and Maturity

Andrew Smith of Vinted shared how the company continues to move at speed while also achieving organisational maturity. Here are the highlights:

  • Speed and Efficiency: Despite their growth, Vinted maintains agility. Clear processes enable them to scale efficiently without losing their dynamic edge.
  • Organisational Maturity: The company has developed a level of maturity that supports its growth, ensuring that operations run smoothly and efficiently.
  • Founder Involvement: Interestingly, the founders of Vinted are not heavily involved in day-to-day operations, allowing the organisation to function independently and effectively.



Lucky Saint: Building a Brand with Quality and Passion

Kerttu Inkeroinen of Lucky Saint offered an inspiring look into how they are building their brand. Key takeaways include:

  • Product Quality: The quality of their product is paramount. They start their production process with alcohol and then de-alcoholise it, rather than starting with water. This dedication to quality sets them apart.
  • Brand Building: Lucky Saint is focused on making their brand known and aspirational. They’ve even opened their own pub, creating a tangible space where the brand comes to life.
  • Founder’s Vision: The founder’s obsession with design and involvement in the business is a driving force. This passion permeates the company culture.
  • Optimism and Momentum: Despite being a relatively small team of 60, they project a much larger presence. They embrace momentum and maintain optimism, not dwelling on failures but learning and moving forward.


The Challenger Mindset: Lessons from Eat Big Fish

The session also featured insights from the philosophy of Eat Big Fish, a consultancy known for championing challenger brands. Here’s what they had to say about maintaining a challenger mindset:

  • Challenging the Category: Success for challenger brands isn’t about size; it’s about culture. To stand out, you have to challenge something fundamental within your category.
  • Creativity Through Constraint: Limitations can drive innovation. Embracing constraints can lead to creative solutions and breakthrough ideas.
  • Asking the Right Questions: Instead of focusing on why something can’t be done, ask, “What would have to be true for this to happen?” This shift in perspective can unlock new possibilities.
  • Maintaining the Pirate Spirit: Keeping a rebellious, challenger attitude helps resist the forces of the status quo. It’s about staying true to the spirit of innovation and disruption.




The “Challenger Brands Uncensored” session at Madfest 2024 provided a wealth of insights for anyone looking to disrupt their industry and build a strong, dynamic brand. From Vinted’s efficient scaling and organisational maturity to Lucky Saint’s commitment to quality and brand building, there are valuable lessons for all of us. Embracing a challenger mindset, as championed by Eat Big Fish, can drive creativity and help brands stand out in competitive markets.

For marketing agencies and businesses, these insights offer a roadmap to navigating the challenges of growth, innovation, and brand building. Let’s take these lessons to heart and continue to push the boundaries in our own ventures.