How listening to their tribe helped this company triple annual profits.
The internet is flooded with advice from branding experts all over the world. Each tip and rule of branding is meant to drive you closer to your customer while maintaining a business that is geared toward maximum profitability. But what if the best way to get closer to your customer… was to simply listen to what they were saying? This is what the founder of Big Ass Fans (previously HVLS – High Volume Low Speed – Fan Company) did and they haven’t looked back since.
Learning to Listen
“We would answer the phones with HVLS Fan Company, how can I help you? And on the other end the people would say. “Hey, aren’t you the guys who make those big ass fans?” and after a little less than a year, we went ahead and changed the name.”
In a culture that favors business rules and systems meant to streamline every last detail, it almost seems too easy to let the customer tell you exactly what they want. In this case, it was the right answer and Big Ass Fans has watched their business as well as their profits exceed their wildest dreams because of it. There is a lesson to be learned here about seeking answers to make an impact rather than just seeking profit… and this isn’t the first time we’ve heard this concept.
Breaking the Rules of Branding
While the guys over at Big Ass Fans may be making branding experts cringe, they certainly are staying on top of some of the most important rules. Like maintaining their focus on the future and keeping their purpose clear. Or having well-defined goals and an exemplary set of business standards. As businesses grow and evolve, these rules are key to success and set the tone for exactly how you can successfully package and brand for the future.
Don’t Just Start the Conversation
When it comes to branding, when it comes to business, when it comes to connecting with your customer base… it isn’t enough to just start a conversation. You have to become the conversation. You must brand yourself, your company in such a way that the conversation becomes synonymous with who you are and what you stand for. As Big Ass Fans Founder, Carey Smith said, “We’ve backed everything with serious research, intensive engineering, and an almost obsessive drive to innovate and improve. No matter what we’re doing, we already going big every single day, and we’re not stopping because of a name change.”
The conversation that started it all for Big Ass Fans began with a simple question and it could have remained forever unanswered if nobody heard it. Unless you are listening like Big Ass Fans, you will miss out on what’s worth hearing. This is a lesson in branding you should get behind.
Read the original INC article published on June 16, 2016.