Case Study: The Fun Factor

This California company sells and lives by a simple motto.

The Company

Custom Logos (asi/173183)
San Diego
Sales Reps: 14

Case Study: The Fun Factor

The day Ryan Kaback, vice president of fulfillment & vendor relations at Custom Logos, spoke with Advantages, his company was getting pumped for its weekly company-wide barbecue later that day, prepared by one of the departments. It also happened to be a Friday, which meant staff members were rocking their flip-flops at the office. They also don’t have to worry about breakfast on Mondays: management brings in enough bagels for everyone, on the house.

Custom Logos’ motto, says Kaback, is simple: “Have Fun, Make Money.” And management makes sure of both. Recent quarterly outings have included a mountain hike, roller skating and bowling. They even hosted a southern-themed Happy Hour party with a live blues band and jambalaya. Meanwhile, the company continues to see 5%-10% growth every year.

“Your number-one resource is your people,” says Kaback. “It’s motivating to be in a good environment. It’s a better quality of life, and we’re reinvesting money to take care of our employees.”

In addition to bagels, barbecue and flip-flops, the week’s highest earner is treated to lunch off-site. Throughout the year, if a sales rep signs a new client and gets a first order of $1,000 or more, they receive a $100 gift card. Two referrals are worth $50. The top sales rep of the year receives an all-expenses-paid trip for two to anywhere in the world.

“We’re constantly looking at new ways to incentivize,” says Kaback. “Soon we’ll be taking our staff and vendors to an escape room, for example. We have a catered lunch for everyone during our quarterly meetings. We like to say, ‘Sometimes you just gotta show up.’ We’ve taped money to the bottom of their chairs before a meeting, and then we tell them sometimes it pays just to show up and ask them to reach underneath.”

To keep employees energized and productive, management encourages healthy eating and asks everyone to share recipes. The owner’s wife, a personal trainer, will offer workout sessions at a discount, and another staff member who’s also a yoga instructor will do the same.

It makes co-workers more accountable to each other and their shared goals, and in turn, to the needs of their customers. “We do whatever it takes to make sure things happen for our clients, and it’s contagious,” says Kaback. “We take calls on the weekends. If something needs to be driven somewhere, we’ll do it. You have to lead by example.”

And when employees go above and beyond, the company sets aside time to recognize their efforts during company-wide celebrations. If a rep breaks a sales record, management cracks a vinyl record in half, imprints it with the rep’s name, date and dollar amount, and frames it for the office wall. Employees who reach 10 years of service are given a high-end wristwatch; at 20 years, staff members receive a commemorative metal star with their name and title that’s installed into the office floor during a special ceremony, inspired by the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It creates an exciting dynamic that’s palpable, and that people want to be a part of.

“We brought on a new hire just last week who said she could feel the energy,” says Kaback. “She wanted to work at a place she’d be happy coming to every day. Everybody’s looking for that. You have to challenge, acknowledge and reward all your employees.”

The Takeaways

  1. Acknowledge employees regularly.
  2. Recognize staff achievements in front of their colleagues.
  3. Encourage healthy lifestyle choices to boost productivity.

Company Perks at Custom Logos

  • Happy Hours
  • Pet-Friendly Policy
  • Flextime/Work from Home
  • Wellness Program
  • Company Outings
  • Profit Sharing