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Meet Jonathan Hanwit of ThinkPARALLAX in Encinitas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jonathan Hanwit.

Jonathan, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
My partner and I started thinkPARALLAX from our garage in Ocean Beach back in 2004. Our plan was to build brands that would make a positive impact on the world. Like all businesses, we’ve gone through several evolutions, starting more as a design agency, to a branding and interactive firm and now we are a full service strategic communications agency. In 2010 it became clear that all of our projects and clients were either purpose driven in some capacity so we saw the need to grow our service offering and become a strategic partner to make a bigger impact in the world. Our focus is to create better businesses by helping our clients rise on purpose. We’re a brand consultancy that articulates, communicates and activates purpose to reinvigorate businesses, from both a performance and people standpoint. We believe purpose-driven companies deliver meaningful value for all stakeholders. It’s hard to imagine that from starting in our garage in OB we would be helping to create positive global impact with Fortune 500 companies like Southwest Airlines, International Paper and Qualcomm – right here in our back yard. It goes to show you that anything is possible.

We’re big on culture – creating the right cultural internally and doing the same for our clients. The culture and leadership are what drive an organization.

Has it been a smooth road?
There have been challenges along the way. Finding the right projects, clients and employees is probably the biggest overall struggle. Getting clear on what you do, who you do it for and who can do the work is probably the best advice I can give for someone thinking of setting up an agency. The hick ups of technology or office space become trivial in comparison to the right projects and people. It is a never-ending challenge. Also, thinking someone can come in and save the day has yet to work out as well as someone that is perfect on paper works out in reality. As an owner, whether you like it or not it’s up to you most of the time to make the decisions and do the work, whether you want to or not. And like any business, staying with or ahead of the curve in a communications business is a never ending, yet interesting challenge.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the ThinkPARALLAX story. Tell us more about the business.
We’re a brand consultancy that helps emerging and evolving companies hone their values and vision to strengthen their brand. We articulate, communicate and activate purpose to reinvigorate businesses, from both a performance and people standpoint. We believe purpose-driven companies deliver meaningful value for all stakeholders. We’re known for working with brands and organization that want to make a positive impact and will partner with us to develop their strategy on how to bring that to life.

I’m most proud of carving out a niche in the purpose space and making it a successful business. That and developing a culture of a place that I’d personally want to work at, and that others want to work and other I’ve never met have been inspired by our culture and our work. Our purpose driven work and culture sets us apart from other agencies.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In the near future, data and analytics will become a big driver around decision making with marketing and the niche of purpose and sustainability will become the norm of how businesses operate as opposed to a bolt on program within an organization.

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