Marketing the Pursuit of Happiness is an inalienable right and a way of life at Barefoot Inc., an agency that works on making consumers passionate about brands and products.
Cincinnati-based Barefoot has been recognized by Inc. Magazine as one of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies, making it on to the magazine’s inaugural Inc. 5000 list. Founded in 1993, Barefoot has doubled in size in recent years to 70 employees, while growing its billings nearly 30 percent a year since 2004. The growth has largely been due to the addition of in-house interactive services. After the dot-com bubble burst and that market began to sort itself out, Barefoot made the strategic decision to invest in offering interactive services, says founder Doug Worple. "Companies were beginning to make more thoughtful and long-term commitments to digital marketing in its many forms," he says. Since then, Barefoot has become one of the fastest growing agencies in the country. Its client roster includes: Del Monte, Fisher Investments, John Wiley & Sons Publishing, Novartis, Procter & Gamble and the Miller Brewing Co.
They call their approach "Marketing the Pursuit of Happiness," recognizing that consumers will spend money, lots of it, on brands, products and pastimes that get them really excited. Marketing the brands that people "rocket" for is what Barefoot does, and their Web features a blog that delivers a thoughtful take on "rocketing." Worple rocketed to creative advertising after starting his career at Procter & Gamble, where he discovered the field in his role as a brand manager. He
left P&G, began work as a copywriter and started Barefoot.
He says his company's growth is the result of staying focused on improving his clients' business with standout creative work. "Growth is a natural result of doing just that, so it’s sort of icing on the cake,” he says.
Writer: David Holthaus
Photography by Scott Beseler