Big Ass Fans. If you haven't heard of them before, you won't forget them now.
(Disclaimer: We were not sponsored or paid in any way for this article.)
Who Is Big Ass Fans?
Big Ass Fans was founded in 1999, originally under the name HVLS Fan Co. ("HVLS Fans" really gets the blood flowing, doesn't it?) The name was officially changed after customers kept asking about "those big-ass fans."
Those big-ass fans are high-volume, low-speed (thus, HVLS). They're huge. These gigantic fans are commonly used in warehouses, factories, and dairy barns - basically, large buildings that need lots of air moved to keep employees cool.
Manufacturing Marketing: Why Is Big Ass Fans Killing It So Hard?
Let's address the elephant in the room: their company name. "Big Ass Fans" toes the line of funny and offensive. It appeals to a certain type of audience - anyone who's turned off by the name is automatically disqualified as a customer. Although their customer base is smaller, it's also more concentrated.
We tell our clients: qualify by disqualifying. Don't try to please everyone. Don't write content that targets "everyone." You will please no one. Big Ass Fans hits you with a qualified/disqualified checkbox the second you hear their name. Don't like their name? You're probably not the customer for them.
2. Logo & Branding
As you may have noticed, there's an ass on the logo. Not just an ass, but an ass's ass. BAF is milking their name for all it's worth.
This unique logo ties into all of their branding efforts. On their About Us page, they have a donkey mascot named Fanny. A yellow and black color scheme spans the entire website, reinforcing the colors on the logo.
In short, you don't have to ask yourself if you're on the BAF website. The logo, colors, and other branding efforts make it immediately obvious.
The personality of BAF is just as sassy as their name. They offer Fanny Facts and Big Ass Swag for their fans (the people, not the products). They do great work and have fun at the same time. "Uptight" is not a word in their dictionary.
Why do we like their personality? Again, it appeals to a very specific audience. If you don't share their sense of humor, you're probably not a good fit. Their personality is up front and honest. They're relatable. They make you feel like you can be yourself while buying a great product for your facilities.
BAF feels like a company run by people - not product-pushing robots.
4. Growth and Development
So many manufacturers start off strong, but can't roll with the punches. Businesses must use both tried and true methods AND new trends and technology.
BAF started with fans. Now, they offer lights, home solutions, and other services. They've developed branded merchandise for those who love the BAF name. They're quick to react to new trends, and they push invention BEFORE necessity requires it.
Take their Haiku Home products, their consumer line of fans and lights. These products enhance your home's aesthetic with a modern design and futuristic tech. The lights can shift color temperature automatically, are environmentally friendly, and last a long-ass time.
The fans are customizable and completely silent. They can be controlled by buttons on the wall, an app on your smartphone, or by voice with the Amazon Echo.
BAF isn't afraid of the Internet of Things. It's not afraid of developing technologies. BAF has embraced modern tech, and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the coming years.
5. Social Media
How are they doing so well on social media?
It's a combination of everything listed above. Their name and branding draw you in. Their personality makes you stay. Their growth and development - flexibility and innovation - keep you coming back for more.
Once you're connected with BAF, they provide educational and entertaining content. All of this content appeals to their audience (which was pre-selected through their name and branding). They're in tune with their audience's interests and pain points. We can't say for sure, but they probably have awesome buyer personas.
They don't annoy their followers with constant branded messages. They share stories and links from other sources and crack jokes. They share relevant articles (their latest post is currently about "Women's Winter," the summer phenomenon of women freezing in the office. Cleverly related to air conditioning/fans).
They're not boring. They're not pushy. They're modern, fun, and relatable. That's how you rule social media.
How Can You Improve Your Manufacturing Marketing?
- Your branding needs to be on point. Logo, colors, website, social, emails - your customers shouldn't have to look for your name to know who they're talking to.
- Your business is unique. Express that with a unique personality. Personality is communicated online through voice, copy, images, colors, and design.
- Don't get lost in modern developments. Embrace them, master them, and use them as a tool. Too many manufacturers are stuck in the past, afraid of change.
- Manufacturing doesn't have to be boring. Maybe you make the component of a component of another product. Own that shit. Your component can become the sexiest part of the supply chain.
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