How to position your brand as a pioneer

We have always asked questions about what is over the horizon or in the next valley, as naturally curious beings we value pioneers and stories of adventure - it is a fundamental part of what makes us human.


Copywriter & Strategist

November 4, 2022

A pioneer is defined as being “one of the first people to do something". A pioneering brand is much the same; they are on a mission to disrupt a stale industry, tell a new story or solve a new problem.

Pioneering brands excite us, shape culture and craft the future.  

What it means to be a pioneer

To better understand what it means to be a pioneering brand, let’s look at the characteristics that make up pioneering people.

Pioneers are typically free-thinking, adventurous, spontaneous and highly creative. They are independent-minded, often clever and always original. If a novel solution to a problem is needed, the pioneer is a good person to ask - because they tend to use original approaches to solve difficult problems. They give special attention to key issues and are future-oriented.

Pioneers are usually enterprising and prepared to take risks. They tend to have a lot of ideas and distinguish themselves by means of originality. The Pioneer likes to work on the development of strategies for the future. They are often described as individualistic and unorthodox, are typically introverted and self-willed, and are generally sensitive to both appreciation and criticism. Sound familiar?

Brands (like people) have inherent traits and values.. If you want to be a pioneering brand, you are going to have to adopt some of the same values as pioneering people.

Free thinking | Adventurous | Spontaneous | Highly creative | Independent-minded | Clever | Always original | Problem solvers | Future orientated | Risk-takers | Unorthodox | Ambitious | Experimental

You now need a mission

Once you have defined your values as a brand, it's time to state your mission and vision.

"You don't have to be a fantastic hero to do certain things – to compete. You can be just an ordinary chap, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals." Sir Edmund Hilary.

Let's reframe this in the context of the brand world…

You don't have to be a fantastic brand to do certain things - to compete. You can just be an established company, sufficiently motivated to reach challenging goals.

What separates a mediocre company and pioneering brand is the motivation to embody a challenging mission and vision. To be a pioneer, you need imagination and an appetite for risk to set a goal that you may not achieve, that will challenge the status quo.

The bigger the mission the bigger the reward. F.B. Hawley states that profit is a reward for risk taken in business. How much of a creative risk are you willing to take?

Brands on a mission

What do all these brands have in common: Apple, Deliveroo, Uber, Airbnb, Tesla, Nasa, Impossible foods? You guessed it, they are all pioneers. They have all been the first to meet an unmet need, deliver an innovative new product or service, or tell an alternative story.

As curious beings, we value pioneers and adventurers in high esteem. Their stories excite us and there’s something within us that aspires to be like them.

So, how do you put all that into practice?

• Look for unsolved problems.

• Examine the industry you are in and identify gaps.

• Challenge convention and tradition.

• Ask why (a lot).

• Start with problems, not solutions.

• State your mission to the world.

• Take risks (the bigger the better, within reason).

• Experiment often and learn from mistakes.

Adventure vs roadmap

Gone are the days of 2, 5 & 10-year linear roadmaps. It's time to take your brand on an adventure. Set a far reaching goal and start your brand's mission. It's unlikely to be a simple linear journey, but by putting one foot in front of the other and solving problems as they arise, you’ll discover new opportunities and learn about your brand along the way.

"With practice and focus, you can extend yourself far more than you ever believed possible." Edmund Hilary.

If you would like help positioning your brand or defining your mission, get in touch with us at - we’d love to join you on your adventure.