A successful brand is one that can evolve with changes in the marketplace in ways that don’t force you to re-create the wheel or re-establish who and what you are or what you represent to your target customers when new technologies, trends, and ways of doing business emerge.
- How does your brand story reflect you and/or your company? Is it true to who you are and what you can deliver?
- Do your clients react positively to your brand message by saying, “This is the person/product/company for me.”
- Are you constantly having to rework or reposition your brand to the marketplace?
Barrel O’ Monkeyz sprung into life in early 2009 as a virtual agency that combined the talents of professionals in marketing, technology, web design, graphic design, digital media, and product development to deliver top-notch services and get results for clients all over the country.
In the years since BOM’s founding, we’ve gone through some growing pains and pleasures as the nature of the agency has evolved from a collection of virtual collaborators into a more traditional “face-to-face” operation with dedicated staff sharing office space and the same time zone. What hasn’t changed, however, is our name. Why? Because our brand story—who we are, what we do, and the promise we keep to our customers—hasn’t changed.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
I’m often asked, “Where did the name ‘Barrel O’ Monkeyz’ come from?”
The truth is, I’ve always been intrigued by monkeys. It’s probably because in practically every video I’ve ever seen of monkeys or on my many trips to the San Diego Zoo, they always seem to be having fun. Monkeys make me laugh. And that’s a big part of who I am . . . and the kind of organization I wanted my company to be. Life’s too short not to have fun, not to laugh.
If you can’t have fun with work, then, really what’s the point? Why would you want to spend roughly 1/3 or more of your waking hours doing something that’s not fun?
Love Yourself – Monkeyz Style!
Monkeys are also a diverse bunch. According to Livescience.com, there are some 260 monkey species in the world (now that’s a lot of monkeys!). They come in all shapes and sizes, with different talents, different attributes, and unique personalities, and that was just the kind of team I wanted to build and the kind of clientele I wanted to serve. And in the end, they/we are all still monkeys—different, unique, but the same!
From there, the idea of all these monkeys being in a barrel, wasn’t a big leap. No doubt its roots came from the idiom, “having more fun than a barrel of monkeys,” which is self-explanatory (at least in my worldview, because, let’s face it, who could ever have more fun than a barrel of monkeys?)—but I also liked the idea connoted by “being in a barrel,” or being in something together, which really connected with my fondness of teamwork, collaboration, and camaraderie.
THE TEST OF TIME
When BOM launched as a virtual group of talented professionals sharing the common bonds of creativity, innovation, and a desire to do good work, it felt real to me, it felt right. That’s the hallmark of a good brand, one that’s based on authenticity, on who you are, and being true to yourself.
“I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” (Ani Di Franco, singer, guitarist, and songwriter)
A successful brand is more than just having a clever, memorable logo (though having one certainly helps—take a bow, BOM monkey!). A successful brand, one that stands the test of time, is built on a fundamental concept that reflects the values of the company or product.
In my case, the Barrel O’ Monkeyz product is/was me . . . or more accurately me and the team, the talent, and the passion we could leverage in support of client needs.
MORE IDEAS. MORE CREATIVITY. MORE FUN.
Barrel O’Monkeyz consists of a fun-loving, solution-oriented team of individuals who thrive by collaborating with each other and the clients we serve. We are “in it to win it” for BOM and for our clients.
- We champion the concept of we are “stronger together.” No man (or woman) is an island. Teams bring a broad range of skills to the table, and it’s around that table we get to share and discuss ideas so we can be the best and do the best we can for BOM clients.
- No idea is a bad idea . . . ever. The needs of our clients are unique. We consider all angles and all possibilities, from the traditional to the unusual, and everything in between. “Whatever it takes,” is our motto (well, not really our motto, but we do embrace the concept.)
- Creativity and creative solutions are the hallmark of what we do best. Outside the box thinking is strongly encouraged. Creativity leads to innovation, and innovation leads to success. It’s that simple.
- We believe that “If it’s not fun, it’s probably not right.” The BOM team is most in the zone when we’re at “the peak of our abilities” or, as author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi calls it, in the “Flow.” If it’s not fun, it’s probably not working, so it’s time to step back, re-assess, and try a different approach.
- We work hard to present our brand story so that we connect emotionally with our target clients. We want clients who are seeking creative solutions, new ideas, and want to have fun in the process—all the same values we represent.
Bananas! Bananas! Bananas!
LOOK IN THE MIRROR
Look in the mirror. Can your brand stand the test of time? What are you doing to reinforce your brand story with your customers and with the marketplace so that it does?
Share your ideas and experiences here.
Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O’MONKEYZ, a full-service digital media and marketing group specializing in more creativity, ideas, and fun for active lifestyle consumer products, sports marketing, and brands in San Diego and Southern California.