SWELL is a marketing strategy and implementation company specializing in branding and advertising. Founded by Greg O’Loughlin in 2011, a defining milestone for SWELL was when Greg and Staci Anderson, now Creative Director & Partner, decided to officially partner up, bringing together their experience of running successful businesses of their own.
At the time of the decision, they were working on six or seven active clients together. While the transition seemed natural from a continuity perspective, it was a larger personal decision for them to make the move from sole proprietor to partner. In the end, it made sense on both fronts.
“Having another human to bounce ideas off of and someone who was equally invested and cared just as hard, made our professional outlooks brighter and blood pressures lower. Plus, our differences one creative mind/one strategic mind; one girl brain/one guy brain gave us a unique perspective as a team that we didn’t have on our own,” said Anderson.
Although they pride themselves for their creativity, SWELL borrowed a key pillar of their business philosophy from Ben Franklin. As he famously said, “Well done is better than well said,” which aligns with how SWELL strives to work with their clients. With relationships ultimately being core to their business, a key to their success is working personally and closely with each of its clients.
“Our best work is work that is done WITH a client, not FOR a client. We want our clients to smile because the work we’ve done together has made a positive impact on their business, and because they’ve enjoyed the process.” said O’Loughlin.
Now four years into the business, SWELL is a long way from where they started, from serving one client to having served 40, several of whom are still on their client roster. Three to five years from now, they anticipate adding some key hands and heads – not just bodies – to their team. With Philadelphia being a big city, but a small town, SWELL has worked with clients who have told other people about their good experience working together. Their word of mouth reputation and Philadelphia’s tight knit community, who they say is eager to embrace the local underdog over a “big, shiny out-of-towner,” has been an incredible asset to their growth and success.
When it comes to advice they’d give themselves five years ago, O’Loughlin and Anderson offered, “Relax, it’ll all get done. Mondays always start with ‘How are we going to do all of this?’ and Fridays always end with, ‘How did we get all of that done?’ The rest of the week is a mix of meeting, making, thinking, deciding, doing, and caffeine. It all works out. Every time. And, even when it’s hard, it’s usually pretty fun.”