This week it is storytime and we are going to talk about Blue Fish.
What’s up Fish Fans! My name is Marcus. You’re watching Marketing Madness, the Blue Fish vlog!
Lately, I have been asked several times, about the history of Blue Fish. Where the name comes from, how I came up with the logo, and what we are trying to accomplish.
Let’s start with the name. When I moved to Lower Alabama from DC in 2004 I did not have a job. I tried a few different things, including starting up a bookstore that I shut down 10 months after starting. The timing for that was just perfect. Well, a perfect storm. Barnes and Noble opened about the same time. And Amazon also released the Kindle. So after 10 months and lots of blood sweat and tears I made the decision to shut down the bookstore. I tell you this to let you know that shutting down a business is not a failure. Not trying, adjusting, pivoting, etc is a failure.
In 2006 I walked into David’s Counter Culture in Gulf Shores and offered to build them a website. They became my very first client. And thus begins my journey in advertising.
I worked without a name for almost 2 years. But in 2008 I was at a friend’s house. Her name is Teth Lee and she used to be the owner of This That and the Other magazine in Fairhope. We were sitting in her home office, talking about ideas for a name. We hopped on the internet and started poking around trying to get some inspiration. I was looking for something that had a tie to our coastal community here on the Gulf Coast. So when we found ourselves on Dr. Seuss’s website looking at One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish I knew I had a match. My favorite color is Blue. And fish are definitely a tie to our Gulf Coast community. And, at the time, my oldest two boys were enamored with Finding Nemo. It was a perfect fit.
The icing on the cake was the logo. I believe Miles was about 7 at the time. He had a Magna Doodle that he was in love with. For those of you not familiar with a Magna Doodle it is similar to an etch a sketch but you use a pen, instead of two knobs. He used to sit in front of the TV watching Finding Nemo and drawing fish on his Magna Doodle. So I gave him a sheet of paper and a pencil and asked him to draw me a fish. I traced the sketch with marker, brought it into a design application called Macromedia Freehand, and made some minor edits to it. The result was our first logo.
The harder thing to talk about is what we are trying to accomplish. I very specifically remember having a discussion with Bill Sisson, the President and CEO of Mobile’s Chamber of Commerce, about the lack of creative jobs in Mobile. We were talking about the brain drain and how the Chamber was trying to address it. I told him that I wanted to create a business that worked on interesting projects that would be a fun place to work. My main motivation for doing so? My boys. I hated the idea that they would move somewhere else after school just to seek more interesting work. In the back of my mind, I always toyed with the idea of building a larger agency so that my boys would have a place to land if they wanted to stay nearby. It wasn’t until late 2016 that I really put a focus on building Blue Fish though. I woke up one morning and realized two things. My boys were all in school and did not require as much of me as before. And I was not getting any younger. If I wanted to see what I could do then now was the day to get started. So in 2017 we hit the ground running and haven’t looked back. In that time we have increased gross revenue over 200% and increased our team from 2 to 10.
I often tell people that if we knew what it took to actually grow a business we would probably not take it on. Fortunately, you only need to know what you need to know at that time. But learning has to be a constant if you want to run a business. Naming a business and coming up with a logo are great. But finding something that drives you to grow is the most important piece of the puzzle. It will keep you centered and focused when everything seems to be swirling down the drain. So if you are one of the 27,000 plus businesses in our area and things seem a bit out of control? Make sure you find what drives you.
And to wrap this up in a neat bow? It appears that at least one of my son’s is considering Blue Fish. If that comes together I will be extremely happy.
Well, that’s a wrap for this week! I want to thank you for checking in. Make sure to hit that like button. And if you have any questions or comments leave them down below. If you want to talk about how Blue Fish can help you grow your business just send us a message and we’ll get the conversation started!