Britton Marketing & Design Group Is 11 Years Old!
In Honor of Our 11th Birthday, We’ve Created a List of 11 Things Just for You
It was a gray and dreary day in March—March 13, 2006, to be exact. While it wasn’t a Friday, the chance for hijinks was,—well, it was high. The wind was making the rain hit the windows and there was a chill in the air. All of a sudden, a rather nondescript white box truck pulled up to a building and opened its doors. The first day of Britton Marketing & Design Group had officially begun.
It’s been 11 years since that fateful day. We started with four employees and now we are just shy of 50. I think it’s safe to say that we have been blessed by our increasingly talented staff and ever-trusting clients. In honor of our 11th year of business bliss, we have created a list of 11 things—that each have, well, 11 things—about BMDG. These include our favorite Jeff Brittonisms (from our president and co-owner), Slack GIPHYs, and sweet-tooth fixes.
11 Things We Love About Our Clients
Our clients have grown and changed just like we have. Eleven years ago, print really was the bulk of our business, and while it will always hold a special place in our hearts, there is no doubt that digital is critical these days.
- Really great colors and patterns. Our clients have always had them, and these colors and patterns have made these clients what they are today. Whether it be fabric or paint, they really know how to pick ’em!
- They have a story to tell. From day one, we’ve always looked for brands to work with that had great stories. Our visual storytelling paired with their products is what has made our partnerships with clients a lot of fun and pretty darn successful too.
- They are pretty diverse. From paint and furniture to handbags and menswear, each client keeps us on our toes.
- Flexibility and openness. Our clients are open to new ideas. We listen to their needs, and then we work those requirements into a fresh and appealing final product.
- The ability to trust an outside source. This trust is not something we take for granted.
- They allow us to write copy that brings personality and life to their products. We’ve never been a “traditional ad agency,” which means our copy is generally more than just a snappy headline.
- Really beautiful products. Our clients make our job pretty easy (or at least look easy). After all, who wouldn’t want to showcase the products they’ve created?
- Origin stories. Each of our clients has an interesting origin story that tells how they came to be and what makes them who they are. We love learning these stories to better understand what made our clients.
- They stick with us. The typical BMDG client is with us for a few years. In fact, our first client just completed a project with us—11 years after the first one!
- Our contacts. We’ve mentioned the clients and their brands, but what about the people? With each client, we work with some pretty outstanding people. They are amazing. To them, we say thank you!
- They chose us. Out of all of the other options, we were the one our clients trusted and selected. We love that!
11 Reasons Why We Love BMDG
I did a quick poll of our team here. Their responses compose the next eight sections.
- The staff are treated as equals. No one makes themselves better than the next and all are quick to support one another.
- The people. I genuinely look forward to running into people in the kitchen, throughout the buildings, and yes, even in the bathroom.
- BMDG is awesome for a million reasons, but here are a few: great examples of female leadership to look up to, team camaraderie (we all like each other), and a lovely environment to work in, full of art and plants.
- The people (again).
- What makes BMDG awesome is Jeff and Sue Britton. They are the heart and culture of the company. They work side by side with their employees so that they have a clear understanding of their needs. They also have a good balance between being current and progressive.
- The people who make BMDG make it awesome.
- The team we have. Such amazing people, all talented in so many ways. Dynamic and amazing.
- The dogs. (No, not the people again. We let our team bring their dogs to work. Oscar, Henry, Jeter, Buster, Riley, Olive, Lucy, Tumnus, Maui, and Spot have all been known to make an appearance.)
- Soup-and-salad day every Thursday.
- BMDG is awesome because of its incredibly talented team members, its dedication to excellence, and its atmosphere of caring.
- The quality of work we get to do for national clients.
11 Reasons We Get Out of Bed in the Morning
Sometimes we all need a reason to get out of bed. Here are 11 of them!
- Because I get to spend time with some pretty amazing people for a few hours of my day.
- Because my cat woke me. Just kidding, see No. 2 above.
- Partly because my alarm just won’t stop ringing, partly because my cat is standing on my chest meowing in my face, but mostly because I love the work that I do and learning new things every day and seeing the beautiful faces of the people I love!
- To get coffee and make the world a happier place. But only in that order.
- I get out of bed every morning to fulfill my responsibilities and to provide value for myself and others. It usually takes some motivation with a cup of coffee, though!
- This: ”Let the beauty of what you love be what you do” (from Rumi). I’m lucky I get to do work I love with clients—and brands—and people I love every day.
- Coffee, kissing my husband good morning, getting to spend my day doing what I love with amazing people. (Ed. note: Keep the kissing at home, folks.)
- I get out bed in the morning to drink coffee and run, but not at the same time.
- There is a lot of exciting work waiting for me.
- My kids are going to wake up soon, and if I want to get out of the house on time, I need to get moving.
- To enjoy some peace and quiet at my desk before the flurry of meetings. Those are my most productive times.
11 Ways We Have Fun Around the Office
Hey! All work and no play—you know the rest.
- My favorite is when there is a social event that brings everyone together—either an off-site to-do or an on-site gathering, such as National Hot Dog Day or “Just Because Day,” contests, wine time, and, of course, the best, soup-and-salad day. Seeing everyone together, interacting in a nonwork way, is so much fun. A bonus is to watch those that wouldn’t normally interact get to know one another outside of the project they are working on.
- The few times I’ve been able to participate in BMDG parties (or watch them from afar, like the Halloween-costume contest), it’s been a blast. I’m also a big fan of the occasional unplanned lunchtime meeting, in the kitchen, where I get to hang out with awesome coworkers and laugh until my sides hurt.
- Any opportunity for a snack party—birthdays, Super Bowl, soup day. I love to eat and talk with my coworkers, so snack parties are perfect!
- Talking to the people I work with. Eating lunch together. Brainstorming on projects together. Getting to do creative things.
- I have fun at work by getting to know my coworkers personally so that we can take time each day to laugh, joke, and not sweat the small stuff.
- Listen to my ’80s music while I do my work! And most of the time, the work and the teams we work with are the fun.
- Playing tug with Tumnus. I love being greeted by our new furry friends. The dogs that have joined our offices are the best.
- The dogs! I don’t have one of my own (I’m working on it, though), so I love petting the pups here at the office. Holidays are also great fun here. Just talking to people here is a treat because I have some very interesting and entertaining coworkers.
- Music-video Friday in The Observatory
- The team conversations that happen every day.
- Have you met Jeff Britton?
11 Reasons Why We Choose to Live, Work, and Play in Northeast Indiana
Fort Wayne may be surrounded by some cornfields, but it’s turning out to be a pretty awesome city.
- My entire family is here, my husband’s entire family is here, and the city is small enough that I’m able to stay in touch with the friends I’ve made who feel like family. I’ve found Fort Wayne to be a generally warm and cozy place, even when the weather isn’t, and I’m pretty chuffed about all the exciting changes the city’s going through.
- I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, so it’s definitely home. I always assumed I would leave, but the longer I hang around the more that mindset has changed. Fort Wayne is full of super creative, driven, and kind folks who want to make it better and add in more and more opportunities for fun.
- My family is here and it feels like home. It’s an exciting place to be right now because so much is happening in the city, and people are invested in it. You don’t just live here; you’re part of something here.
- They say “home is where the heart is,” but when I think about why I wouldn’t want to leave Fort Wayne, I say “home is where the ‘art’ is.” Fort Wayne has an amazing art and culture scene that is growing every day, and it is one of the key reasons that I have never moved away.
- It is a great place to raise a family. [There are] safe, good schools and job opportunities.
- After living in Los Angeles and upstate New York, I was really excited to return home to Indiana to raise my family in the home state I love. Fort Wayne is a fabulous place to raise a family—good home, great schools, the best people!
- My wife says so. Or [because] it’s an easy place to live. And it’s big enough to offer most of what you would want in a city, yet small enough to be able to access them (culture, food, sports, activities, lifestyle).
- [I was] tricked to move here by Jeff Britton. Ask him. Actually we love being close to the Britton family and could not imagine living anywhere else at this time.
- We moved here in 1999, when my husband retired from the Air Force and started working for Raytheon. At the time, we were looking for a location with good schools and an affordable cost of living. We wanted big-city amenities without the big-city cost and congestion. I think we found what we were looking for. Our kids have graduated and moved away, but we’re still here. Go figure.
- There is a lot to do here in the area, and if we want to do something different, there are a lot of options a two- to four-hour drive away.
- I love my job. Other than this, I would most certainly move away. (Ed. note: Glad you are here!)
11 Places We Love to Eat at or Order From
We are creatures of habit. The second and third spots are seen daily around the office. We may have a problem.
- Soup-and-salad day at BMDG
- Catablu Grille
- Jimmy John’s
- Thai Diner
- Rise’n Roll
- Panda Express
- The Fresh Market
11 “Now Showing in the Observatory” Moments
Our Observatory features one big screen flanked by two smaller screens on each side. This is prime real estate for quite a bit of fun.
- Home Alone
- Groundhog Day (on repeat, of course)
- Super Bowl commercials
- Music videos
- A Christmas Story
- NCAA Final Four games
- The Olympics
- FIFA soccer/football
- A Very Murray Christmas
- Apple events
11 Favorite Pieces of Candy from Candy Drawer(s)
We have three buildings and each one has a candy drawer. We are constantly surprised at how quickly the candy goes. It’s freaky fast, just like Jimmy John’s.
- Berry Skittles
- I honestly, cross my heart, believe it or not, have never opened the candy drawer. But only because I’m afraid that once I start, I won’t be able to stop!
- Reese’s cups
- Mini Kit Kats
- My favorite candy in the snack drawer is the lonely, leftover yellow Starburst that is hidden in the back. Sad and without its package mates, it is long forgotten about (everyone seems to love the pink and red—blech). It is the delicious lemon flavor that I enjoy, but I like to think that I am saving these abandoned candies from impending expiration.
- Anything chocolate
- Apples and peanut-butter pretzels
- Three answers, depending on which persona I want out there: a) yes, b) there’s a snack drawer? and c) Almond Joy.
- Heath Bars. You have to be fast to get those!
- Peanut M&M’s.
11 Favorite Jeff Brittonisms
Jeff is known for his stories. Sometimes they are so out there, Meg (Britton-Gross, vice president of online brand buzz) or Sue (Britton, chief creative officer and co-owner) is called on to verify their accuracy.
- I love the story about how he almost brought a cougar home.
- “That might sound Midwestern and sentimental, but I don’t care.”
- His snake story had me in tears, laughing. There was a clogged pipe at Jeff and Sue’s house. It helped the pond drain so it wouldn’t overflow. Jeff decided to go unclog the pipe, and there happened to be a fallen tree across the ditch it emptied into. He decided to stand on the tree, and he asked Sue to keep it steady. Jeff then stuck a broom handle into the ominous pipe. He heard the sounds of something coming loose. He assumed it was sticks and leaves. In reality it was a nest of snakes. Jeff is afraid of snakes (he will deny this). As the snakes poured out of the pipe and rushed toward him, he was yelling at Sue to keep him from falling into the pit of snakes that was now below him.
- His inspirational quotes he read at the staff meeting recently were good. Or the time he told me about camping with Russian novelists in Idaho.
- “That’s the way the mop flops!”
- “Work flows to the competent.”
- “If it’s wet and it’s not yours, don’t touch it.”
- There are too many Jeff comments to list!
- “Flush twice and move on!”
- “You are trying. In fact, you are the trying-est person I know.”
- “There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.”
11 Dad Jokes
Dad jokes are a thing here. Maybe it’s the increased presence of dudes among the gals, or maybe it’s an up-and-coming trend. Either way, they are here. These dad jokes are courtesy of Dave B. Goode, digital strategist/analyst. (Yes, that is his real name. No, the jokes are not good.)
- Q: What time did the man go to the dentist? A: Tooth hurt-y.
- Q: What did daddy spider say to baby spider? A: You spend too much time on the web.
- Q: What do you call Jay Z when he’s sleeping? A: Jay Zzzzzzzzzz.
- Q: What’s brown and sticky? A: A stick.
- Q: Why was Cinderella so lousy at baseball? A: She was always running from the ball.
- Q: What do you call a cow that just gave birth to a calf? A: Decalfinated.
- Q: What kind of shoes do ninjas wear? A: Sneakers.
- Q: How did the hipster burn his tongue? A: He drank his coffee before it was cool.
- Q: How do you complain to a builder? A: With constructive criticism.
- Q: What do you call a dinosaur with an extensive vocabulary? A: A thesaurus.
- Q: What’s the best way to greet a horse? A: Hay!
(Hint: Follow The Observatory Lab's Instagram account for your weekly dose of #dadjokes)
11 of Our Favorite GIPHYs
One of our regular tools here at BMDG is called Slack. It’s an instant-messaging and communication platform of sorts that allows for channels on certain topics and groups for certain people. There are a number of apps to integrate, but our favorite one is the random GIPHY generator. The majority of these have been randomly created. See if you can guess the keywords that we entered that gave us a result. The answer key follows all the GIFs.
- "Single hot realtor" (Honest. We are still confused on this one, too.)
- "Welcome the alpacalypse"
- This is specially selected, not random. “I secretly have my own stash of GIFs that I manually send because I like to be accurate in my commentary, and you have no clue what you’re going to get with GIPHY,” said Molly Stronczek, art director.
- “Dance celebration”
- “Happy birthday” Mariah Knight, production artist, said, “I’m not going to lie. I direct-message myself random GIPHYs to see what GIF it comes up with. Although this one wasn’t in a conversation with myself, it has to be one of the best ones I’ve seen yet.”
- “Show me the money” “Who doesn’t love some Cuba Gooding Jr.?!” said Dana Wallace, customer service manager.
- “Dylan 90210”
- “You rock”
- “I got your back”
- “I can do what I want”
Well, that’s it, folks! Thank you for making year 11 amazing. Here’s to an even better year 12!
Photos/GIFs: BMDG and Giphy