Andrew Loos co-founded Attack! 2001 as a way to apply his passion toward the experiential marketing movement that was sweeping the marketing industry. In his current role as CXO, Andrew has built Attack! into one of the largest guerrilla marketing, field support and event staffing companies in the country. As a progressive force in the industry, he’s authored several articles in trade publications such as Promo Magazine and Chief Marketer, EXPERIENTIAL TO COLLEGE CLASSROOMS and was recently a guest speaker at Google for ForumCon 2011. He lives with his wife, soon-to-be son and two dogs in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, all of whom agree that Andrew is equal parts awesome and amusing.
What are you working on right now?
The Social Underground. A dynamic new service powered by Attack! which connects brands with their ideal influencers through integrated communications and an immersive media experience. Translated? We’ve developed a really effective way to connect the right social media users and core advocates to the brands they love using our proprietary management software.
3 trends that excite you?
Earned Media through social landscapes
Core advocates having more say in a brand’s message & development
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring an idea to life by visualizing, vocalizing and incorporating physical elements of the concept into my daily life. In 2001, when Attack! was only two people (my business partner, Noel Chandler in SF and myself down here in LA), I remember renting an office space and setting up four empty desk spaces just to get in the habit of going into a physical work environment every day. I seriously had everything in place: phone systems, computers, pens, pads… even a little conference table just waiting for its first brainstorm. But no people… yet. Looking back at this pre-employee era, I’m sure it seemed completely mental to those who dropped by at first, but in all honesty, the act of going through the motions allowed me to visualize how I would eventually scale things up. Talking about (Not “to” – I’m not that mental), and planning for, people I hadn’t hired yet, really put the positive pressure on me I needed to bring the idea to life. Its just over 10 years later now and Attack! is spread out across five markets and 42 full time employees strong.
What inspires you?
People who aren’t afraid to fail. Every mistake you make brings with it a newfound level of clarity, but more importantly, gets you one step closer to a solution. Failure will always cost you something, but it is the best education that lost time or money can buy (Well… that is, if you don’t repeat it) Ask any business owner who has made it past the five year mark their thoughts on this and you should get some great war stories to work off of.
What is one mistake you’ve made, and what did you learn from it?
About four years ago we decided to “test the waters” with a service slightly outside of our core competency. We did this mainly to attract a new type of client, but found that by veering too far off the trail we had been blazing over the past half decade, that we were really just watering down the effort (and attention) our sustainable client base needed from us. By keeping our cow purple (sorry had to throw in a Godin reference, saw that you guys interviewed him) instead of brown, we have been able to focus on becoming more remarkable on our top offerings
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Find mentors. Meeting and building relationships with people who have already found success is vital in finding your own. People always say you should just have one mentor, but I’ve never really gone with that. Having access to and building relationships with many successful entrepreneurs gives you the unique ability to crowdsource the experts.
What is one book and one tool that helps you bring ideas to life?
Book – “The War of Art: Winning the Inner Creative Battle” by Steven Pressfield
Tool – This may sound lame, but I have to go with trusty ol’ Google Analytics. For our online laboratory, nothing else out there is as expansive in data metrics and user-friendly
Who would you love to see interviewed on IdeaMensch?
1. Darryl Ohrt of Humongo – Creative mind, established business owner, great blog.
2. Christian Jurinka – Our other active Partner and sales-strategy guru here at Attack!
3. Noel Chandler – President and CEO of Mosio.
Besides relevant experience, what else do you look for in potential new Attack! employees?
Motivation to make our organization more efficient, creativity to make it more fun and the personality to work with other team members and add to the already amazing culture.
What is the strangest job you had before owning a business?
A. I played a robber in a crime reenactment on the TV show, “Real Stories of the Highway Patrol”. It was an exercise in bad acting and unintentionally funny – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tdxIZERGug (I’m the one with the mid-90’s ponytail, holding the gun)
Attack! is at http://www.attackmarketing.com
Also, for IdeaMensch readers ONLY – free Sammy the Sumo to the first 25 people who drop us a line — http://www.sumoworld.blogspot.com/