Competition brings out a lot of things. It spurs innovation. It proves which ideas have staying power and which don’t. It drives us to reach greater heights, and it forces us to focus our energies to where they can do the most good. You can’t be everything to everyone, and in the competitive arena we operate in, organizations that spread themselves too thin learn that lesson the hard way.
Since our inception 20 years ago, Hanlon has been guided by that understanding. The competitive spirit is deeply ingrained in everything we do. It has forced us time and time again to strip away everything extraneous to our core values and strengths, and to direct our skills with laser sharpness on the very specific areas where we simply can’t be matched:
- Our core focus is on Challenger Brands.
- We have a clear and strategic approach to Driving Growth for our clients.
- Our success is attributed to well-defined, seamless, and Proven Processes.
Challenger Brands Are Hungrier and Adapt Faster
Challenger brands do more with less and take on rivals with greater resources, not by trying to match them head on, but by outworking and out thinking them, and by never backing down.
That’s why we love partnering with other like-minded, dynamic, market disrupting companies. Like us, our clients create unique offerings, take on nonconformist positions, and develop unconventional strategies to unseat the top players regardless of how big or well established they might be.
In addition to their hunger and unorthodox thinking, another key advantage of a challenger brand is speed. As a company grows, it can be difficult to avoid bureaucratic roadblocks, entrenched groupthink, and tribalism. Challenger brands, like Hanlon and our partners, reject those corrosive patterns and counter them with values like flexibility, adaptability, nimbleness, and openness to change. We don’t fear the future, we embrace it, adapt to it, and use the opportunities it presents to gain a competitive edge over those unwilling or unable to do the same.
“Like us, our clients create unique offerings, take on nonconformist positions, and develop unconventional strategies to unseat the top players.”
Challenger brands need speed in many forms. They have to be quick to act when the openings they fight for arise, but they also need to be the fastest to respond to facts on the ground. Maneuverability and acceleration are as important as velocity. You can move miles at a full sprint, but can you also rapidly pivot in response to real world data and get back to top speed before your competitors have even realized the game has changed? More than ever, the speed advantages of challenger brands are in sync with modern realities. Adaptability is both a market differentiator and, frankly, a survival skill in a rapidly changing market space.
Properly leveraged, ambition and agility are a potent combination and a threat to every established brand. The challenger role creates a rare chance to make a far-reaching dent in a formerly intractable status quo. Trying to change the world is an imposing goal, and setting your sights that high doesn’t come without its share of risks, but nothing extraordinary happens without opportunity costs. Challenger brands, like Hanlon, have the drive and audacity to break down walls that constrain the less intrepid, and we are uniquely prepared to adapt on the fly and keep moving forward, taking on new and greater challenges.
Brand Growth is a Choice
Brand growth isn’t the result of a random or indiscernible trajectory. Brands require continual investment in emotional, financial, and creative resources; starve a brand of these basic requirements and it will shrink and die.
The Hanlon strategic approach to growth is a holistic methodology built around discerning a brand’s most compelling features and unique identity, and then nurturing positive and lasting emotional associations with it. We search for novel ways to penetrate the right markets and analyze and revise our tactics through detailed mapping of a complete customer experience. If a brand needs direction, lacks focus, is suffering from poor customer engagement and/or low marketplace saturation, the root cause of that issue can be found somewhere on that map.
“Brands require continual investment in emotional, financial, and creative resources.”
Identifying the challenge, however, is only half the equation. Corrective action has to be employed just as expertly. To grow brands, smart targeting, channel optimization, authentic positioning, creative storytelling, and calculated executions must be directed in unison. We use every mechanism available to cultivate strong and measurable bonds with a target audience.
Game changing brand growth takes more than just buy-in from your current market segment; it requires expanding your reach, recruiting new customers on a regular basis, and keeping your marketing funnel full so that new loyalists are continually being created. We pursue strategic approaches to growth that also protect your core business and revenue model. We tear down obstacles to expansion, attack old problems with fresh ideas, and engineer results.
Data-Driven and Provable Process
Our processes are built around two core frameworks: the Full Funnel Approach and the Blueprint for Successful Branding. The Full Funnel approach looks at the entire customer journey, from pre-awareness, all the way through the decision making process and into loyalty and advocacy formation. It is a system that is inclusive of customer acquisition and retention strategies, and thus informs creative executions that are specifically designed to encourage forward progress at every touchpoint.
The Blueprint for Successful Branding is the product of years of extensive brand management. We’ve codified the essential factors that make and break brands; among the most of influential of which is consistency. Even a fully realized brand will lose value without clearly defined principles that are scrupulously adhered to. The Blueprint for Successful Branding serves as a guide stone that brings large teams together and directs them towards shared and mutually understood objectives that cement positive brand associations in the minds of a target market.
“We’ve codified the essential factors that make and break brands.”
Taken together, our processes ensure that we’re never blindly guessing at when, how, or, where marketing and branding assets should be deployed. Creativity without calculation is as reckless as it is ineffective. When we position a brand, message its audience, measure the results, and manage long term growth, it’s always done within a well established framework. That’s why both the Full Funnel Approach and the Blueprint for Successful Branding are inherently accountability-oriented processes. Every choice and outcome is capable of being explained with someone taking ownership for it. We tie every objective to an execution you can measure and adjust to improve your customer experience and drive growth for your brand.
Another essential component of every process at Hanlon is iteration. That means every process is analyzed, evaluated, and updated routinely. Even a process that is netting good results can always be improved upon.
The goal isn’t iteration for its own sake. You’re unlikely to produce positive results by continually building and rebuilding your processes without responding to operational realities. The success of an iterative process is dependent on collecting and accurately responding to functional indicators. Not only are we seeking out that data, we’re doing everything we can to tighten those feedback cycles and increase the speed of our evolution. The pace of change in today’s market demands nothing less.
Uniquely Positioned for Success
Without question, Hanlon has a deep pool of talent, experience, and proficiencies. We build experiences, both physical and digital, that captivate, delight, and create value for brands and consumers alike. We demand best practices in strategizing, planning, consulting, communicating, and execution. Motivated by competition and fueled by an innovative, iterative, and accountable process, Hanlon is uniquely adept at propelling meaningful brand growth and passionately advocating for challenger brands.