Branding Lessons from the Savannah Bananas

You may be wondering what a college summer baseball team has to do with branding.

As it turns out, plenty.

After professional baseball failed for 90 years in Savannah, GA, Jesse Cole created a plan to make summer baseball succeed. He invested countless hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing a team and branding strategy.

Jesse and his team built a culture of putting fans first. This included asking the Savannah community to name the baseball team, which is how they became the Savannah Bananas.

Jesse ensured the public got to personally know his employees and players. He wanted fans to be entertained by the team’s antics.

Employees and players receive a Fans First Playbook when joining the organization. It states that “professionalism is boring” and “we embrace our weirdness.”

The guide introduces the employees, shares the Savannah Bananas’ beliefs and principles, and provides examples for new members to follow for success. The handbook also encourages personal growth because fulfilled employees and players are better able to put fans first.

Taking this people-first approach means little turnover for the Savannah Bananas. The kickball competitions after baseball games often last into the early morning hours. The employees don’t mind if they need to work the next day.

The Savannah Bananas sold out their first season and won the Coastal Plain League Championship. They continue to sell out games because of their human approach to sports and winning.

What are some branding lessons you can learn from the Savannah Bananas?

1. Put your employees first

Dedicate time and money to support your employees’ personal and professional development. Employees who feel personally and professionally fulfilled are well-equipped to help others. Happy employees go out of their way to develop happy customers.

2. Let the public get to know your employees

People buy from the people behind your brand. This is why helping the public learn more about your employees is important. You may want to post weekly behind-the-scenes videos on your website and social media platforms to provide insight into your workforce. Promoting deeper connections between the public and your employees increases your customer base.

3. Express gratitude

Thank your employees for their contributions and results every day. This may include writing thank-you notes for going above and beyond to reach an objective. Showing appreciation increases connections with your employees. This improves employee engagement, performance, and productivity. It also increases job satisfaction, employee morale, and retention rates.

Are you looking for help with branding?

Let BARQAR’s team of creative strategists and designers construct a compelling, engaging experience that helps tell YOUR story. Contact us today for a free estimate!

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