If you were an emerging athlete with your sights set on a college scholarship, the Olympics, or the World Championships, you’d seek out a trainer, a coach, a physio, and the like to help you get from where you are to where you want to be. If, after long periods of working out, your body started to hurt, you’d look for the best doctors you could find to help take the pain away and get you back on your feet. Fully recovered, you find yourself on the precipice of winning. But something you can’t see is holding you back. You could give up. Or you could seek out those who have been where you are and can objectively help you leverage your gifts, fight the giants, and get over the hump. Finding direction. Alleviating growing pains. Learning how to win. That’s what challenger brand agencies are all about. And you’ve just reached the best challenger brand agency in the country.
WELCOME TO THE DOGFIGHT
Since our founding more than 35 years ago, LOOMIS has been helping challenger brands compete with category leaders and win. We are a challenger brand agency in the business of helping underdogs who are underleveraged find a way where seemingly there is no way. First and foremost, that requires understanding what it means to be a challenger brand and second, understanding what it means to be an exclusive challenger brand agency. We do.
According to current data from the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, out of 32.6 million businesses in the United States, only 20,868 have more than 500 employees. Big companies. Of the rest, 84.7 percent of American companies have fewer than 20 employees. We are a nation of underdogs. In every category, there is only one, on occasion two, true category leaders. That leaves the vast majority of brands in the role of challenger. But here’s the thing – being a challenger brand is about way more than just how big you are. You’ve most likely heard the quote, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the fight in the dog that matters.” Winning as a challenger brand is about mindset and action, not size. LOOMIS is the best challenger brand agency in the country because we understand that, and we help our clients leverage that truth in ways they wouldn’t see alone.
THE CHALLENGER BRAND ETHOS
There are three fundamental factors that make up what we refer to as the “Challenger Brand Ethos.” It’s the starting point for every challenger brand that genuinely wants to compete.
The first factor is STATE OF MARKET, understanding honestly where you rank among your competitors. The second factor is STATE OF MIND, understanding who you are as a brand. Challenger brands are the best at something, or actively striving to be the best. The third factor is where the rubber meets the road and where true challengers are separated from wannabe brands forever stuck in neutral. The third factor of the Challenger Brand Ethos is STATE OF READINESS, understanding how prepared you are to go to battle. Are you open to new ways of thinking and potentially uncomfortable ideas? Are you open to changing things up, doing business differently? Are you ready to get out of your own way and pull the trigger to improve your ability to compete?
True challenger brands engender a corporate culture of willingness, an openness, and an energy for embracing new modes of thinking. This includes a higher organizational tolerance for calculated risk-taking. Often, this culture is present early in a company’s lifecycle but may wane as the company matures, and modes of thinking become traditionalized. It can be reignited during an organizational inflection point, such as a leadership change, or a reengineering process that has been intentionally and effectively managed. But regardless of origin, the company’s collective mindset must embrace alternative ideas. The strategy, creation and implementation of those ideas are what make LOOMIS the country’s leading challenger brand agency.
7 REASONS LOOMIS SHOULD BE YOUR AGENCY
Every advertising agency will tell you they have what it takes to help challenger brands win. Very few have wholly committed themselves to making challenger brand success their exclusive focus. More than 20 years ago, that’s exactly what LOOMIS did. There’s not an agency in the country that wouldn’t love to have Coca-Cola, GEICO, Nike, Home Depot, and Ford on their rosters. But the corporate monoliths aren’t who we serve. We fight with the brands that break themselves against the category leaders again and again and again, chipping away and finding victory in unexpected places. We’ve helped brands win that fight for nearly four decades and we can do the same for you. Here are seven reasons why.
We are a challenger brand agency. Period. We understand challenger brands because we’re an underdog ourselves. We aren’t the biggest, or the most famous. But, oh, you ought to see us in a dogfight. The purpose of our challenger brand agency is to “help underdogs win.” It’s not an area of expertise, or one of a long list of capabilities on our website. Helping challenger brands win is all we do.
Of all the things we’re proudest of, our people top the list. Our award-winning staff includes more than 70 industry experts who specialize in Marketing and Advertising Strategy, Account Service, Creative, Media, Digital Marketing, and more. We’re perpetually included on multiple “Best Places To Work” lists. And on average over the past 20 years, we’ve held on to our talent twice as long as the national average. There are a number of reasons for that. One of the biggest is how compelling it is to work for a challenger brand agency focused on creating and implementing big ideas that move the needle for our clients. It takes a special mindset to thrive here. Our people are smart, brave, and driven with a work ethic that’s unmatched. Our team is fiercely loyal to our clients, to the agency, and to each other. It’s no coincidence that our client tenure also vastly exceeds the national average.
When we say we wrote the book on challenger branding and culture, we mean it literally. Published in 2020, “The Voice of the Underdog: How Challenger Brands Create Distinction By Thinking Culture First” is a master class in how to compete as a challenger brand and the importance of building an extraordinary company culture. Written by agency CEO and President Mike Sullivan and Michael Tuggle, the former co-Executive Creative Director at LOOMIS, the book unpacks the poorly understood and grossly underleveraged connection between brand and culture. Filled with fascinating case studies, entertaining stories, and engaging insights, the book examines the true essence of what makes a company a challenger brand, unveils how successful challengers of all sizes use culture to create extraordinary brand distinction, and finishes with a detailed blueprint for building your own transcendent culture.
Like any great athlete, we don’t just show up and perform. We train. We study. We watch, listen, learn, read, and discuss challenger branding strategies, tactics, and ideas all the time. All of our team members work through our 16-week challenger brand workshop series exploring challenger branding and culture from A to Z. Challenger branding is a living, breathing, evolving process and as the leading challenger brand agency, we have to change with it. We are lifelong learners who are open to new ways of thinking and the belief that creative ideas can come from anywhere. We train hard to be the best at what we do.
As part of our Challenger Brand Workshop Series, we developed “The Challenger Blueprint: A Systematic Guide for Building the Underdog That Wins.” It’s a proprietary process that helps us identify where a challenger brand is in their journey, what they need to do to compete, and what the consumer insights are to drive that growth. The end result is a marketing and advertising plan grounded in the Challenger Brand Ethos that’s laser-focused and primed for competition. Our success as a challenger brand agency and that of our clients starts with this process.
As the nation’s leading challenger brand agency, our experience has equipped us to take on any breed of underdog that comes our way. That said, thanks to our client mix over the last 20 years, we have developed considerable expertise in the restaurant, retail, franchise, financial, and healthcare brand categories. We monitor those categories closely and have the in-house talent, tools, and capabilities you’d expect from a challenger brand agency partner ready to lead your efforts – from strategy through omnichannel planning and execution, as well as campaign performance measurement. LOOMIS also offers an award-winning in-house design firm, a comprehensive digital and social media studio, and access to one of the finest recording studios in the country just one floor down. Be it branding, advertising, or marketing, we have the experience and the structure to deliver for our clients.
That brings us to the thing you most likely care about the most – results. We wouldn’t be America’s leading challenger brand agency without them. Quite frankly, at LOOMIS we are driven and obsessed by moving the needle for our clients. We drive revenue. We sell tickets. We put butts in seats.
- We helped double the Average Unit Volume of a 600-store QSR chain.
- We helped increase the profit for a home services company five-fold over eight years.
- We created the national sports promotion of the year for a pizza chain that was so successful, when it ran, competitors told their delivery drivers to stay at home.
- We helped increase the web traffic for a healthcare company by 44 percent and new patient requests by 36 percent in one year.
- During COVID, we helped a 200-unit QSR chain increase their Nation’s Restaurant News ranking by 43 spots.
Those are just a few of our success stories, but they should give you some idea for what it’s like to work with LOOMIS. We aren’t a challenger brand agency because we choose to position ourselves that way. We’re the country’s leading challenger brand agency because nobody understands challenger brands and how to help them win better than we do. If you’re a challenger brand, you’ll find no greater advocate. Call us and let us show you.