Monthly Archive: January 2010

10 Reasons Why, a.k.a. Our Core Values

1- We exist to solve marketing problems. Not to win awards, become famous or fabulously wealthy.

2- We’re totally committed to the work. Great work moves people, and it’s the means to our mutually desired end–in this case, your marketing problems all neatly solved.

3- We’re straight up. Marketing problems don’t solve themselves. They’re solved by people willing and able to deal honestly with the challenges at hand.

4 – We’re small for a reason. Clients often need the expertise found in some of the larger shops, but they just as often need to turn to a small shop, staffed by refugees from the larger shops, in order to have a direct line to that expertise.

5 – We’re media neutral. We care about doing the job that needs doing, not about trying to force fit a solution that isn’t needed. If you need TV, we’ll recommend it. If you need a bill stuffer that drives people to a promotional Web site, we’ll recommend it.

6- We focus on talent. Our teams are assembled specifically to tackle a certain project or ongoing series of projects, which means we always have the best possible team (not one picked randomly from the agency bullpen) working on any given job.

7- We don’t sell, we share our passions. We’ll share yours too, by helping you translate your passion for what you do best into customer-friendly marketing materials that build your brand.

8- We’re a good business partner. We show up on time, deliver our work on time, bill fairly and generally safeguard your reputation and our own.

9- We’re not afraid. In order to best serve your needs, we need to do the right things, and the right things are not always the most popular, or most comfortable things to do.

10- We love people. To truly connect with all the crazy and wonderful people on this planet, a.k.a. your customers, we need to be in tune with more than demographic info, we need to know what people are feeling, what matters to them and a little bit about their dreams.

Seeing Yourself By Honoring Others

On Friday I met with graphic designer, Aaron Draplin, in his fifth floor industrial loft to discuss the need to develop a kick ass Bonehook logo and identity package. It was a great meeting, the kind you walk away from excited to actually do all the things being discussed.

One thing Draplin asked me to do was create a design brief for him, and to list five people or companies that inspire me. It was a great exercise to write the brief and explore the core essence of this brand and what our mission as a company truly is. It’s a DNA test and one that every company needs to undertake. I’d also suggest taking the time to list five people or companies that inspire you.

Here’s what I put down:

  • Yvon Chouinard, CEO of Patagonia and author of Let My People Go Surfing
  • Lee Clow, Worldwide Creative Director, TBWA\Chiat\Day and long time lead on the agency’s Apple account
  • Hotel San Jose in Austin, TX (the definition of down home chic)
  • Rick Rubin, legendary record producer–take a listen to the new Avett Brothers record for proof of the man’s enduring genius
  • Interface founder and Chairman Ray Anderson for committing to a new and fully sustainable business model and making it happen in a big way for his company

It’s a short list, but that’s good because it forces you to focus on the things that matter most. For instance, in my five examples I see a deep commitment to sustainability. There’s also tenacious drive, a calm confidence and the creative spirit it takes to make something original.

The Bonehook Brand Story

Since the beginning of time, our survival has been dependent on the tribe’s ability to successfully hunt and gather. It’s a fundamental law of nature.

Eons of development as a species have brought wonderful advances in science and technology allowing us a broader understanding of the world around us, but reality itself has yet to alter. We still need to hunt and gather in order to survive. This is true in the literal sense, but also for business, non-profits, politicians, musicians and the rest.

If you have a product, service or idea to market, survival means sales. And to generate consistent sales there needs to be a great brand story. That’s what helps customers care about the brand over the long haul. Without a great story, you’re fishing with no bait.

Bonehook works to put clients in exactly the right spot, with the perfect gear and ideal bait for the conditions. Doing this successfully, time and again, is a matter of practice and dedication to craft. That’s how skill is honed and “a feel” developed, both of which are as necessary as air.