By Prentice Howe, Principal, Door №3

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The fastest growing brands are the ones migrating culture, changing the vernacular and turning predictability inside out. They’re not leading their respective category in the revenue column (yet) but they are, hands down, the ones attracting the most loyalists in droves.

They’re challenger brands.

But what makes these companies so topical? Do they invest more in R&D? Do they spend more on marketing? Actually it’s much simpler. They’ve mastered the art of advocacy. They know that in the age of Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok, brands no longer control their marketing message — their customers do. …


The art of rejecting the masses to attract your most ardent fans.

By Prentice Howe, Principal, Door №3

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We all have friends that aren’t a good fit in our lives. Maybe we have nothing in common with them. Perhaps they’re emotionally draining. Or flaky. Or they encourage us to make poor decisions. Yet what do we do? We continue to meet them for happy hour, ‘heart’ their Instagram posts and attend their annual holiday party, somehow thinking that our social stock might drop if we were to cut them off. …


By Zach Cochran, VP of Media, Door №3

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People love data. It’s true. Even if their career has nothing to do with advertising or marketing, they still love the idea of using data to inform decisions. It makes sense, right? As Gordon Gekko said to a young Bud Fox in Wall Street, “The most valuable commodity I know of is information. Wouldn’t you agree?” Why yes I would, Mr. Gekko.

But it does bring up another question. How much do we trust the information? How accurate is the data? To marketers, especially those that work primarily in the digital space, trusting our data to accurately inform our decisions is commonplace — and crucial. We spend hours every day, shoulders hunched over a screen, pouring over analytics and decoding the numbers that will make the difference between a campaign being a huge success, or a total dud. …


By Noah Davis, Executive Creative Director, Door №3

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At Door №3 we talk a lot about challenger brands and how we can help them compete. Truth is, “challenger” is as much a state of mind as it is a state of being. A mental switch that, once flipped, can dramatically change how a brand views its competitors, its category, and most importantly, itself.

Fully embraced, a challenger mindset can and should touch every part of a brand’s business, but nowhere is this shift more readily apparent than in its messaging.

Creative writing, as applied to headlines, copy, concepts and content, will not only form the largest portion of any challenger’s advertising arsenal, but also define the character and quality of all of their marketing efforts. It will serve as, quite literally, the voice and personality of the brand across every touchpoint. The purpose of this particular bit of creative writing is not to offer a definitive guide to the art, but rather to share a few morsels of useful advice that the author has picked up over the years. …


Article by Mark Killian, Senior Copywriter, Door №3 | Part of Door №3 Insights

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Is Ace Hotel the cheapest chain in the market? No. Do they have a lucrative loyalty program? Nope. Are their amenities second to none? Nuh-uh. Then why in the world do some people love them so much? Because there’s no place like them.

Now with ten locations under their moniker (and two sister properties: Sister City in Manhattan and Maison de la Luz in New Orleans), spread out across three continents, Ace Hotel artfully straddles the line between independently owned and internationally known. But just how does Ace distinguish itself from the behemoth conglomerates and trendy boutiques that make up the hotel industry? By embracing their Challenger Brand spirit and turning short-term stays into life-long memories. …


By Prentice Howe, Principal, Door №3

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Quick, tell me your company’s brand positioning statement in 12 words or less.

If you recited it clearly and without hesitation, stop reading this article and go pour yourself a drink. The rest of you, stay after class.

Not having a positioning statement is bad, but not nearly as egregious as having an ineffective one that you deem to be good enough. The reason for the latter is because too many marketers are forced into a state of denial. And for good reason. They’re busy. They have fires to put out. They have to drive sales NOW. Plus, self-reflection isn’t for the faint of heart. Crafting a powerful positioning statement is a lot like starting a workout routine after years of only lacing up your running shoes for Target runs. You have to begin buck naked in front of the mirror and ask, “Alright. …


Article by Zach Cochran, VP Media, Door № 3 | Part of Door №3 Insights

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When you’re a challenger brand being outspent by a category leader, every marketing dollar must be invested wisely. You have to resist the myriad of paid media channels and commit to tactics that will drive the biggest ROI. Which channels to choose depends on the product and the objective. For most of our clients, this typically involves a significant digital media component that allows for optimization between channels.

Which leads us to the “A” word: attribution.

If you work in digital marketing you’ve probably had to answer questions about attribution, and there’s no shame in admitting it’s confusing. Before we dig deeper, let’s review what it actually is. …

Prentice Howe

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