Hunting for Killer Branding with Ryan Hogan


October 5, 2020

ryan hogan on brand

“When you talk about brand you immediately go to marketing. But brand is how something from a company makes you feel. That transcends marketing.” Ryan Hogan would know. As a serial entrepreneur who’s built several brands, he now helps thousands hunt serial killers with his fast-growing Hunt a Killer gaming company. We discussed Ryan’s unique backstory, business, and brand this week on the On Brand podcast.

Enjoy This Episode Now

About Ryan Hogan

Ryan Hogan is the Co-founder and CEO of Hunt A Killer, an innovative gaming company that delivers clues, items, and correspondence to your doorstep that creates an interactive and immersive story for its Members. Ryan enlisted in the United States Navy in 2002 and was selected for the Seaman to Admiral commissioning program in 2008. He commissioned and graduated from the University of Maryland with a business degree focused on marketing and management in 2013. Ryan separated from active service in 2017 and entered the US Navy Reserves when he decided to pursue entrepreneurship full-time. He currently serves as a Surface Warfare Officer in the US Navy Reserves and as CEO of Hunt A Killer.

To date, Hunt A Killer has sold over one-million boxes, surpassed 100,000 subscribers, and has doubled revenue two years in a row without outside investors, with continued growth expected.

Episode Highlights

First of all, what is Hunt a Killer? “It’s an immersive storytelling company.” Part murder mystery party, part subscription box company, Ryan’s founded a truly unique brand. However, the journey in getting there was just as unique …

“Entrepreneurship is about understanding goals.” If you know where you want to go, the path becomes more and more clear. Eventually. Ryan stepped us through his journey founding two unrelated companies—activewear and adventure races—that lead to what would become Hunt a Killer.

The importance of brand voice. Building on their “active” name, Hunt a Killer knew they needed a strong brand voice. Initially, it was very direct (“Do you have what it takes to Hunt a Killer?”). However, over time, Ryan realized that by evolving the brand voice, they could “grow the overall addressable market” beyond crime aficionados to those looking for family activities that don’t involve phones and screens.

Brand experience is everything. “It’s the easiest thing to identify and the hardest things to execute. That’s because brand is how a company makes you feel.”

What brand has made Ryan smile recently? “I’d have to say Tesla—right or wrong.” Specifically, Ryan reminded us of the founding story of this very unique brand.

To learn more, go to HuntAKiller.com.

As We Wrap …

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

On Brand is sponsored by my book Brand NowDiscover the seven dynamics to help your brand stand out in our crowded, distracted world. Order now and get special digital extras. Learn more.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!

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Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Brand Now: How to Stand Out in a Crowded, Distracted World and Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, an educator at the University of Iowa, and host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.




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