For challenger brands striving to compete with category giants, it’s imperative to look at strategy, creative, and media agency services in a completely different way. Challenger brands employ strategies that challenge convention. They make distinct promises only they can keep.
They understand both who they are for and just as importantly, who they are not for, and they go to market with a distinctive voice. Those things seem to naturally play out in strategy and creative but too often they are overlooked when it comes to the media side of the marketing and advertising equation.
Not at The LOOMIS Agency.
Our media agency services are fully oriented toward helping underdogs battle and win against brands sporting far greater resources. That takes a different mindset and frankly, a different work ethic, than simply buying spots and dots and thinking of media agency services at a 40,000-foot level. Helping challenger brands succeed starts with thinking like a challenger and at LOOMIS, we do.
IT ALL STARTS WITH A LIGHTHOUSE
Successful challenger brands start with identifying what we call their lighthouse identity. A projection of their brand built around a truth so pure and bright consumers pay attention even when they’re not looking for it. People follow category leaders for all kinds of reasons. Ubiquity. Familiarity. Market dominance. But for brands in second place on down, consumers are drawn to strong personalities confident in who they are and what they stand for. At The LOOMIS Agency, we help our clients determine what their lighthouse identity is, and then we help them find ways to effectively live into that identity strategically, creatively, and through their media plan.
As the country’s leading challenger brand ad agency, we’ve spent more than 20 years helping underdogs build their identities, grow their consumer base, sales, and profit, and win. We’ve worked beside brands in just about every category. But regardless of business type, every lighthouse identity has been built on the same four key elements – the same elements that inform every great challenger brand media plan we create.
- POINT OF VIEW
For successful challenger brands, the story is always about them. Challengers have a strong, distinctive – and here’s the key – unwavering point of view. They are who they are, and they do not apologize. Successful challengers blast their light through a prism of individuality, confidence, and exclusionary welcome. They’re not for everyone. But if you’re someone who aligns with who they are, you’re a customer for life. That attitude informs each of the media agency services we deliver to our clients. Our media plans are not for everyone, and they don’t pretend to be. But for those we’re trying to reach, they are undeniably visible.
Successful challenger brands are never weak and despite having fewer resources to apply, we find ways to make our media plans plenty strong. The whole point of having a confident point of view is to drive emotion and intensity which strengthens the connection consumers feel with the brand. The media mix and solutions we put together for our clients combine the traditional, digital and the unexpected in a plan that refuses to be ignored. Just like our clients.
By its nature, a brand’s lighthouse identity has to be highly salient. In other words, their light must be bright enough to be highly intrusive. Bright enough to shine where even those who aren’t looking for it will see it anyway. At LOOMIS, our job is identifying strategies, creative solutions, and media opportunities that are so luminous people will see them and be captured by their light. Challenger brands cannot afford to be invisible. Thanks to our super talented and highly experienced media agency services team, our clients aren’t.
- A ROCK-SOLID FOUNDATION
The lighthouse identity of every successful challenger brand is built on an inarguable product or brand truth. Consumers make be fickle, but they are undeniably drawn to brands that unapologetically know who they are and live into that truth. To be effective, media choices have to be congruent with who brands say they are. Just as our clients’ identities are built on strong, inarguable truths, so too are the media strategies and plans we employ on their behalf. We field thousands of media opportunities for our clients every year and we work tirelessly to determine which best fit the plans we’re creating. We are always on a vigilant watch for those opportunities that will help our clients project who they really are to the consumers most ready to engage with them.
UNDERDOG MEDIA AT ITS BEST
One of the fundamental tenets of challenger branding is that due to limited resources, underdogs are forced to both sacrifice and overcommitment so they can be big somewhere. There’s no facet of branding where that’s felt more than in the media plan. Determining the right places to sacrifice and overcommit takes experience and hard work and our media team is blessed with both. Where many agencies allow their clients to get sucked into the temptation of trying to talk to every consumer, we empower the brands we work with to be big for the people they’re for and to let everyone else find their lighthouse beacon as they may. How can we afford to do that? Big ideas.
Challenger brands always seek to disrupt consumer complacency and the status quo, and our media plans are one of the most effective ways we accomplish that. Like everything we do at LOOMIS, the media agency services we provide are all informed by the Challenger Brand Ethos. We know who we are, we know where we stand, and we know how ready we are to go to battle.
By the same token, we approach our media planning with the same challenger branding mindset our creative teams use to come up with effective concepts. Here are just a few of the challenger brand tactics we employ in building our media plans:
At the beginning of every project, we look at the brand and the category as though we know nothing about them to try and look at everything with fresh eyes. While we understand challengers can’t do everything, that doesn’t mean every possibility shouldn’t be up for consideration. Intelligent naivety helps us avoid ruts and always keeps us primed to find the unexpected.
Another advantage we have to embrace as a challenger brand is our ability to stay nimble. The Titanic’s biggest issue wasn’t the iceberg. It was the size of its rudder. Challenger brands may be smaller, but that just means they are poised to move quicker than category giants and when unexpected opportunities arise, they should be nimble enough to respond to them.
MAPPING OUT THOUGHT LEADERSHIP
Our media plans play a huge role in mapping out the thought leadership for each of our clients. In every category, there are two leaders – the Market Leader, usually the biggest… and the Thought Leader. The brand making waves. The one everyone is talking about. The one grabbing all the attention. Part of challenger advertising success is mapping out where and how the brand can best engage, disrupt, and get people talking. That’s the goal of every media plan we execute no matter the size.
STARTING WITH INSIGHTS
Every great creative campaign starts with an engaging insight about the consumers we’re trying to reach. That goes double for the media agency services we provide. For every project we start, our first question is what is the one point of leverage about the consumer that is most engaging? It’s often the difference between delivering a message and capturing the imagination.
THINK BROADER THAN THE ASSIGNMENT
The solution to most challenges isn’t a single medium. It’s an idea. For us (and our clients), the greatest moments in challenger advertising come when we solve for the media in question, but also think about where else we might be able to express the brand. Disruption can emerge in many ways and allowing ideas to spark without limits is what gives those embers oxygen.
MEDIA AGENCY SERVICES FOR CHALLENGER BRANDS ONLY
We help challenger brands win. That’s what we do. Exclusively. For more than 20 years, we’ve helped underdog brands that were outmanned and outgunned win by delivering smart, creative solutions that were unflinching and unexpected. There’s not an agency in the world that wouldn’t be thrilled to have Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonald’s, Amazon, and FedEx on their client roster. But those aren’t the brands we serve.
At LOOMIS, the strategic, creative, and media agency services we deliver are strictly calibrated to challenger brands looking for an agency partner ready to jump hip deep into the dogfight with them. That’s who we are. It’s what we love. It’s why we get up and go to work every day. Our culture was built and curated to create an extraordinary team. And that team is wholly focused on driving exponential results. Increasing sales. Driving profits. Putting butts in seats, selling tickets, and changing hearts and minds. We are America’s leading challenger brand advertising agency. And we’re ready to jump in the dogfight with you.