• What We Do  

    Brand Development
    Using our innovative On-Target Branding Process™, we work with our clients to develop focused brands that have purpose personality and emotional appeal to the appropriate target audience. By exploring above and beyond common boundaries, we can help any business create a unique niche in a competitive marketplace.

    Our proprietary On-Target Testing™ research allows us to measure consumer response to specific brand benefits. This gives us quantifiable insight to what the consumer is really thinking, allowing us to develop and position a brand in the most effective way. We feel that the best way to discover what a consumer values in a brand is to simply ask them.  Read news release

    Marketing Strategy
    Drawing on years of experience we craft Purpose-driven marketing strategies that align with Corporate objectives and Deliver bottom line results.

  • Who We Are       

    Hunter is a strategic marketing consulting company that specializes in helping companies focus or refocus their marketing initiatives for maximum profitability.

    Over time, sales and marketing efforts become diffused and often confused as companies merge, management changes, new markets emerge and marketplaces evolve.

    Hunter exists to help companies objectively assess their situation, focus and connect with the marketplace—by aligning a company’s vision, core competencies, strategic objectives and marketing initiatives with market opportunities.

    What Makes Us Unique

    We help companies rediscover their purpose—the singular focus that is born in a vision with values. Purpose integrates a business’s unique market offerings with a driving passion to make the world a better place.

    The age of responsible business is here. Consumers are choosing brands and becoming fervent customers of those brand’s whose values align with their own. If a brand doesn’t have a redeeming purpose, it becomes irrelevant.

    Businesses that find their unique purpose find success on many levels.

    What Makes Us Relevant

    Hunter helps organizations unearth their purpose, focus on what really matters and become profitable for all.

  • Meet The President       

    John Willis is President & CEO of Hunter, a brand consulting and communications firm in Chester County, PA. Hunter’s services include brand development, research and strategic marketing planning.

    A graduate of Villanova’s Business School, Willis began his career in advertising in 1982 conducting consumer research. Along with several partners, he founded Hunter in 1986. Today, his client responsibilities include brand development and strategy, strategic marketing planning, and internal brand communications. He believes the key to successful marketing for any company lies in its ability to create a brand that is clearly defined and congruent internally and externally.

    Willis has worked with a broad spectum of companies throughout his career including Woolrich, AmeriSource, Temple University, Callanen International (Guess and Nautica Watches and Jewelry), Philadelphia Gear, Cellular One, Salvation Army, Wawa Food Markets, and Sears among others over his 20 year career.

    Willis is an adjunct professor of marketing for Drexel’s LeBow College of Business Executive MBA program and serves on several non-profit boards. He believes strongly in giving back to the community.

    He lives in Glenmoore, PA with his wife, Lee and the six youngest of their ten children, a branding story in itself.

  • What Is A Brand     

    Until recently, if we asked the average US marketing executive for a definition of a brand, the answer we would hear most often was simply, a brand is a logo or trademark.

    The logo or trademark is no more the brand than facial features are a person. Are the logo and brand connected? Hopefully. But the logo is merely one outward representation of the brand.

    Much confusion surrounds branding, particularly in B2B applications. Mainly, I am convinced this confusion occurs because there is no textbook definition for a brand. Talk to ten brand experts and you will get ten different definitions. Actually, it is quite similar to trying to describe what a person is. You can answer philosophically, but not scientifically; generally, but not precisely.

    The working definition I like to use for a brand is simply this: A brand is the set of values and expectations customers place on your products or services.

    Why is Harley Davidson so popular with doctors, lawyers and outlaw bikers? Because to those three groups and others, the brand symbolizes personal freedom. It embodies the personality of the rebel, the rugged individual, Americana. It oozes empowerment.

    The brand is fashioned, communicated and cared for by the internal Keepers of the Brand, but it does not exclusively belong to them. The brand also belongs to the customer, both internal and external. You can influence the customers’ perceptions, but you cannot control them.

    The internal customer is, in fact, the key to a successful brand. If the internal customer--the employee--understands how and why the brand benefits its customers, and experiences a consistent manifestation of the brand’s core values through internal policies and culture, the employee will believe in the brand. They will take ownership of the brand and will likely become a Brand Champion.

    Brand Champions feel they are a part of a group of people that is really helping some other group through the medium of their product or service. This creates excitement, as a core characteristic of our humanness is the desire to help others.

    When the external customer interacts with the Brand Champion and experiences his or her genuine enthusiasm, they experience the power of congruency—when internal core values are congruent with the externally communicated values. The external customer benefits from the product or service and the people behind the product or service are genuine in their desire to help them derive the benefits.

    Again, a brand is like a person, and here are some thoughts that demonstrate those similarities: • People relate to brands the same way they relate to people • People have names, so do brands • You can tell a person by their friends and associates; same for brands • People have personalities, so do brands • People have distinguishing characteristics, so do brands • Relationships with people start with trust, the same is true of brands • People are judged by the values they embrace, brands are similarly judged by the values they stand for • People evoke emotions, so do brands • It takes time to build a relationship with people and brands • A good brand like a good friend is highly valued

    The more you get to know a person, the more values and expectations you place on that relationship. It is the same way with a brand. Can you see the similarities? Is your definition of a brand expanding?

    When those values and expectations are consistently met or exceeded, the external customer becomes a Brand Ambassador who can’t wait to share their rare experience with a friend or colleague. This friend or colleague is called a Seeker.

    Basically, we are all Seekers—looking for ways to improve our lives. There is no more powerful agent than a friend, a Brand Ambassador, recommending a brand to a friend. The expectations of the Seeker are gilded by the Brand Ambassador. The Seeker will now try the brand with positive expectations.

    We like to refer to the brand as the soul of the organization. It should encompass the internal values of a company and it should offer tangible and intangible benefits to its customers. In the best organizations, employees are champions of the brand and their enthusiasm becomes so attractive that their customers can’t wait to share the good news of their experience with a friend. That’s the formula for a winning brand.

    Written by John A. Willis, President/CEO of Hunter

  • Take The Brand Test       

    So how's your brand doing? Here is a quick test to see if your brand is on track or if it needs some work to bring it into focus.

    Rate the following statements on this scale:
    1 = Strongly Agree
    2 = Somewhat Agree
    3 = Neither Agree Nor Disagree
    4 = Somewhat Disagree
    5 = Strongly Disagree

    1. ______ Your best customers could easily state three things that make you different from the competition

    2. ______ If your customers saw one of your current ads or brochures for the first time and your name and logo was covered up, they would still know it was your ad or brochure

    3. ______ Your customers don’t negotiate price because they believe they get good value from you

    4. ______ Your sales people do not sell based on low price

    5. ______ A new prospect who spends 30 seconds with any of your marketing communications will be able to state your brand positioning

    6. ______ You consistently communicate your brand values and messages to all stakeholders (not just customers) i.e. staff, shareholders, suppliers, etc.

    7. ______ You get a lot of referral business

    8. ______ The person who answers your phone can state the company’s core values

    9. ______ Your management team would agree on what is the most important benefit you offer your customers

    10. ______ Your brand uniqueness is not one of the following:
    a) you are a solutions provider
    b) you have the highest quality product
    c) you have incredible customer service
    d) you will save your customers money
    e) you will help your customers be more productive
    f) you guarantee satisfaction

    TOTAL SCORE ______

    Below 20 - you have a healthy brand
    20-30 - you need to refocus your brand
    30-40 - your brand is not clearly differentiated from the competition
    40-50 - your brand is confusing or nonexistent

  • Companies We Have Worked For     

    Timex Group
    Timex Group USA, Inc. is the nation‘s leading watch manufacturer.

    Furmano Foods
    Furmano's is a family owned food manufacturer selling to the retail and food service markets.
    Visit site

    Guess Watches
    Guess Watches is a leading brand of trendy fashion watches for men and women.

    Philadelphia Gear
    Philadelphia Gear Corporation is a global leader in power transmission solutions for the world’s Energy, Infrastructure and Defense industries.

    Nautica is a modern American classic fashion brand capturing the essence of an active, adventurous and spirited lifestyle.

    Temple University
    Temple University, Fox School of Business is a top ranked business school

    Marc Ecko Timepieces
    Marc Ekco Timepieces is a cutting-edge fashion brand of watches.

    Ompay is dedicated to making lives easier through convenient time saving transportation applications.

    Conestoga Wood
    Conestoga Wood Specialties is the world’s largest custom kitchen cabinet manufacturer.

    Praesent vestibulum molestie lacus. Aenea nomy hendrerit mauris. Phasellus porta.

    Gc (Guess Collection)
    Guess Collection is an upscale fashion brand of watches for men and women.

    Aviom is an innovative manufacturer of audio networking and monitor mixing solutions.

    ASK Foods
    An all fresh ingredient food manufacturer.

    Hill & Associates
    A consulting company for medical coding and compliance.

    A 180 year old company that manufactures outdoor clothing for men and women.

    Kids Peace
    The largest residential treatment program for teenagers in the US.

    Eagle Projects Int'l
    A Christian non-profit organization that does humanitarian work around the world.

    Eastern Instruments
    Developers of solid particle mass and airflow measuring and control systems for clients in the food, petrochemical and agricultural industries.

    Financial Freedom
    Personal financial planners and consultants.

    Salvation Army
    A Christian, non-profit disaster relief organization.

    Fres-co Systems USA
    Manufacturer of high-performance flexible packaging systems.

  • Case Study: Guess, Nautica &
    Timberland Watches  

    Situation: Callanen International designs, manufactures and markets watches for Guess, Nautica and Timberland under their specific brand names. Hunter works for the International Division, which markets watches in over 70 countries around the world.

    Guess, Nautica, and Timberland apparel lines are not known internationally as they are in the United States. In many markets worldwide, the watch brand opens the market and creates the brand image. For example, the Guess watch brand has created the image for the Guess apparel line in many international markets. Therefore, clearly establishing the watch brand with its concise values was critical to our communication.

    Callanen attends the largest watch fair in the world once a year in Basel, Switzerland. There are over 300 brands represented, each one vying for mindshare and attention from the distributors and international press. The first step in preparing strategies and materials for the show was to develop the brands.

    Objective: Capture and communicate each brands unique qualities.

    Strategy: Create distinctive brand positioning and brand triangle for each of the four Callanen watch brands: Guess, Guess Collection, Nautica, and Timberland Watches, then follow through with consistent use of the brand image in every piece of communication.

    Outcome: Distinct brand images that carried through press conferences, collateral materials, CD press kits, and a website exclusively for the international fashion press. Over 600 press people registered on the website and over 25,000 pages and images have been downloaded from the site. Callanen opened distribution in 10 new countries and international sales experienced a 28% increase, despite the events impacting the economy.

  • Case Study: Aviom  

    Situation: A group of professionals with a previous association at an established music industry manufacturer started a new business in the same industry. The prior manufacturer was known as an innovative sound engineering company.

    The initial product lines of this new company built on that reputation and solved a problem that performing and recording musicians experience.

    The company hired Hunter to develop the positioning and brand for their company and product line.

    Objective: Create a dynamic brand that would connect with the various target audiences and stand out in a very competitive industry.

    Strategy: Establish the brand’s personality as innovative but user friendly. Establish the brand as first in a new category: personal monitoring devices.

    Outcome: The brand was positioned as dedicated to empowering the individual musician (by giving them control of their own monitoring devices). At the NAMM Tradeshow, contacts were established for 11 countries.

  • Case Study: Temple University  

    Situation: Temple’s business school was renamed after a major benefactor, Richard J. Fox. The business school’s image was excellent outside of the Philadelphia region but not very impressive within the Philadelphia region, which supplied over 80% of its students.

    The dean of the business school hired Hunter to improve the image of the school in conjunction with its renaming.

    Objective: Develop a new brand image to overcome existing negative perceptions.

    Strategy: Reposition the brand and establish brand guidelines for internal and external communications. Use the highly visible MBA programs as the vehicle to launch the brand.

    Outcome: The brand was repositioned as “the school for those who know they are going to succeed and want to accelerate their progress.” The brand personality was developed as confident bordering on cockiness but always with an air of success.

    The MBA program experienced a 40% increase in applications and a higher average GMAT score.

  • Case Study: ExecConnect America  

    Situation: Two transportation industry experts launched a company featuring a new premium motorcoach service. The service targeted business travelers who traveled between two cities that were within 300 miles of each other. The test markets were Pittsburgh and Cleveland.

    The company hired Hunter to develop the identity, positioning and brand for their new service and then develop strategies to take the brand to market.

    Objective: Create a world-class brand for this new service.

    Strategy: Establish the brand as the first in a new category of transportation by using our proprietary On-Target Process™ including consumer research, developing the corporate identity, positioning, and branding for the new service.

    Outcome: ExecConnect America service was launched in Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The brand was positioned as “first class business travel at an affordable price.”

  • Case Study: Philadelphia Gear  

    Situation: Philadelphia Gear, a 100 year-old gear manufacturer, made a strategic decision to change their business model from a custom manufacturer of large specialty gears to a gear service and parts provider.

    Objective: Reposition the brand and develop internal and external communications tools.

    Strategy: Reposition the brand as the “first national gear service provider” with a regional service center in six different regions around the US. Since customers were reluctant to ship their large gears more than one day’s transport away this was very important.

    The closing of the main manufacturing plant in King of Prussia, PA was handled through a multifaceted PR program that effectively targeted employees, the media, and customers in separate but coordinated efforts that centered on the repositioning of the brand.

    Outcome: The company reversed its negative revenue trend and today is the leading service provider in the gear industry.

  • Case Study: Eastern Instruments  

    Situation: Eastern Laboratories patented a new device to measure continuous flow of dry bulk products in a manufacturing process. At that time, there was no other comparable measuring tool.

    Objective: Create and position the brand and the product.

    Strategy: Rename the company ‘Eastern Instruments’ to elevate it above the competition, create a new logo and tagline and position the brand around the unique value of accurate continuous flow measurement.

    In addition, Hunter named the initial measurement device the Centriflow™ meter and built its value around the claim “Zero Friction Flow Measurement,” a claim which engineers found irresistible to challenge.

    Outcome: Eastern Instruments is the leading manufacturer of continuous flow measuring instruments and the Centriflow™ is the category leader for process flow measurement.

  • Contact Us With Any Questions  

    HUNTER • 204 Julie Drive • Parkesburg, PA 19365
    610 909 4884John Willis:
    610 324 8309Bruce Milley:

  • Privacy Policy  

    Hunter is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.

    We will not sell, distribute or lease your personal information to third parties unless we have your permission or are required by law to do so.

    We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.

    Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide while visiting such sites.


    Chester County, PA – Product messages sometimes miss the mark badly. In fact, brand researchers say some companies promote product “benefits” that actually have a negative impact on sales.

    Hunter, a strategic marketing firm based in Chester County, PA has developed an innovative in-depth brand development product called “On-Target Branding™.” The strategic marketing program features a proprietary consumer research method that identifies the most important benefits a brand offers to customers, as well as brand messages that may have a negative influence on brand image.

    Knowing exactly what motivates a consumer to purchase a product is vital information,” said John Willis, president of Hunter. “The On-Target Branding process removes guesswork and subjectivity and allows customers and prospects to tell you exactly what they value in your brand, and in the exact order of their value. The key is the measurability of the information.”

    Some of the most useful information is finding out if there are “assumed benefits” that actually hurt the sales process. “You’d be surprised how often companies undermine their own selling message,” claims Willis.

    For instance, a hospital emergency room staff learned it was raising an unnecessary red flag by proclaiming, ‘We get the diagnosis right the first time,’” said Willis. “That message raised a concern that wasn’t on their customers’ radar screen—the problem of accurate diagnosing. Now consumers had a reason to ask, ‘Should I be concerned?’”

    The On-Target Branding process begins with a valuation of the current state of the marketplace, including a full review of the company, its customers, products and competition. Then the proprietary research model is used to identify the most important brand benefits, as well as those that send a negative message to customers.

    The purpose of the program, say its developers, is to objectively identify and measure consumer response to the brand’s benefits and then develop brand strategies based on this insight.

    “The ultimate purpose of the On-Target Branding process is to build an effective strategic marketing plan around a strong and relevant brand and that increases revenue,” said Willis. “It’s a program that is proven effective.”

    Hunter is a strategic marketing company that focuses on brand building for the purpose of increasing sales. Hunter works with clients to develop actionable marketing and sales plans that are founded on building a solid brand. The On-Target Branding Process can help any business develop a plan for growth, even in a very competitive marketplace. With 20 years of experience, Hunter has helped local and national brands reach their sales potential.