Interesting brand expression – Serious results

February 25, 2014

The Big Ass Fan Company. What do they make? If you guessed big fans, you’d be right. This corporate name may not be my personal favorite brand expression, but hey, they made me do some research and learn more about the company.

What have I learned? They are a private manufacturing company headquartered in Lexington, KY and founded in 1999. They make high volume low-speed fans for industrial, agricultural, commercial and residential use.  The company has won numerous awards since 2009 including Plant Engineering Product of the Year, Best Places to Work in Kentucky List multiple times as well as several green manufacturing awards and others.

The company has also been a high growth company, with revenues growing from $34Mil in 2009 to $122Mil in 2013. One reason for this growth could be the CEO’s attitude towards the company’s employees. Fueled by overhearing a senior executive comment that he didn’t pay his employees more because he didn’t have to when he worked in insurance, The Big Ass Fan Company’s CEO has seen that his employees are well compensated. His employees make 30% above the national mean and 50% above the KY mean. Further, 30% of the company’s profits are paid out to employees as bonuses.

In addition to advantageous pay, they also retain employees by encouraging them to remain in the company, but take on different roles in the organization if they burn out in their current jobs. If you believe as I do that employees are the number one ambassador of the brand, this is a huge advantage. Repurposing an employee from a different function takes someone that already knows the corporate culture and instead of losing them outright, keeps them in the company. That retains the brand DNA within the workforce and keeps someone that does not have to learn and interpret the brand.

While I’m not 100% sold on the company’s name yet, it does tell me that this is an organization where senior leadership doesn’t take itself too seriously. By naming the company, The Big Ass Fan Company, they obviously aren’t a bunch of starched white stuffed shirts, but rather likely a down-to-Earth bunch. They strike me as a work hard/play hard kind of company, willing to give themselves a funny name, while still keeping their eye on the prize. The financial performance, recognized workplace excellence, and industry awards tell me that they do keep their eye on the prize. I’ll be keeping The Big Ass Fan Company on my radar!

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