Hanlon, Patrick

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Hanlon, Patrick




Home—Minneapolis, MN. Office— Thinktopia, Inc., 3010 Hennepin Ave. S., Ste. 4, Minneapolis, MN 55408.E-mail—[email protected].


Thinktopia, Minneapolis, MN, founder and CEO. Previously worked to promote such brands as Absolut, John Deere, IBM, LEGO, Ford Motor Company, H&R Block, Barnes and Noble, Samsung, and UPS.


Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future, Free Press (New York, NY), 2006.

Maintains a regular web log, Primal Branding.


Patrick Hanlon is an expert on the art of branding. He worked on accounts for numerous high-profile companies, including Absolut, Disney,Ford Motor Company, John Deere, IBM, LEGO, and UPS prior to starting his own branding firm, Thinktopia, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As an offshoot of the company, he writes a web log, Primal Branding,and wrote the book, Primal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future. Hanlon's theory of branding a product or company involves seven pieces of what he refers to as primal code: the segments of a belief system that, when united, create the brand. These codes include a creation story, creed, an icon, rituals, pagans, sacred words, and the leader. In an interview for the Being Reasonable Web log, Hanlon stated: "It's really important that you put together all seven pieces. Many companies focus on icons, or a leader. But you have to have all seven pieces of primal code to become one of the Nikes, the Starbucks, or the Cokes of the world." The objective is to differentiate the product or company from the competition, and to draw people with similar needs or beliefs, and who respond to your concept. In his book, Hanlon examines why people are attracted to certain brands with such fervent loyalty, and why others fail to appeal despite intensive advertising campaigns. David Siegfried, in a review for Booklist, commented that "Hanlon proves his points by example, … which makes the reading more entertaining than instructive." A reviewer for theForbes Book Club Online called Hanlon's effort "one of the most original books of its kind ever written."



Booklist, February 1, 2006, David Siegfried, review ofPrimal Branding: Create Zealots for Your Brand, Your Company, and Your Future, p. 12.

Entrepreneur, February, 2006, April Y. Pennington, "Primal Needs: This Author Knows Just How Consumers Bond with Brands," p. 20.


All About Branding.com,http://www.allaboutbranding.com/(April 18, 2006), biography of Patrick Hanlon.

Being Reasonable Web log,http://being-reasonable.com/(January 8, 2006), interview with Patrick Hanlon.

Forbes Book Club Web site,http://www.forbesbookclub.com/ (April 18, 2006), review of Primal Branding.

Primal Branding Web log,http://primalbranding.blogs.com(April 18, 2006).

Thinktopia.com,http://www.thinktopia.com (April 18, 2006).