The Secret To Success — Always Keep Learning!

3 min read
People working together

If you wanna talk branding — talk to Tim Hellige. Tim founded Bandy Carroll Hellige together with his partners Susan Bandy and Mark Carroll back in 1989. They are a 40 people strong branding business operating out of Louisville, Kentucky with clients throughout the Midwest and Southeast. Their capitalized billings in 2017 were roughly $70,000,000.

BCH is a prime example of companies that have seen their industry evolve, been through it all and kept standing firmly on their own two feet. “The secret”, as Tim puts it, “is to always keep learning.”

The industry was a whole lot different when the company was founded. It was way simpler and there were fewer media channels which have since increased in number and complexity. Competition has stepped up their game too. The era of digital has quickly transformed the way brands present their value to customers, and clients are more demanding than ever. To ensure they keep their momentum, BCH has let investment into knowledge lead their way to success. As their industry changed, so have they.

Make sure all staff are fully educated in the digital side of the business. Make sure big data is part of what you offer and make digital the hub of all that you offer. But also maintain the significance of the brand. — Tim Hellige

Susan Bandy, Mark Carroll, Tim Hellige

We asked Tim what he thought was most important for businesses in a dynamic, competition packed industry. This is what he said:

  1. Focus on hiring the best talent possible
  2. Never stop providing leadership and ideas that will grow your clients’ business
  3. Create an environment that fosters an entrepreneurial spirit

If you want your business to thrive, making sure you got this down is a very good start.

A key secret to success is to hire really smart, creative people and get the hell out of their way. — Tim Hellige

Maintain the significance of the brand

BCH has enjoyed working with many clients throughout the years, but Tim mentions Four Roses as one of the highlights of the company’s rich portfolio.

This iconic bourbon brand is now distributed across all 50 states and is regarded as one of the premium American bourbons. However, things were not as bright until BCH stepped in and did the first re-launch of the brand in 2005.

The strategy was initially based around two stages. A third stage was added as momentum grew.

  1. Start in Kentucky, the mecca of bourbon, where 95% of all bourbon is made. Win Kentucky — Win across the US
  2. Focus marketing on the flagship Single Barrel product — integrate the others afterward
  3. Leverage the unique process of mingling 10 bourbons to firmly establish the Brand’s position of “true handcrafting”

The results speak for themselves.

Four Roses was the fastest growing whisky brand in Kentucky by 2010. They have enjoyed double digit, year over year sales growth for the last seven years. — Tim Hellige

A testament to the re-launch success

BCH also works with the likes of Louisville Convention and Tourism Bureau, KentuckyOne Health, Delta Dental, Kentucky Lottery and Republic Bank.

Make digital the hub of all that you offer

Brainstorming, sharing ideas and interpersonal connections will always be paramount in the creative industry.

“There will never be a replacement for simple communications and open dialogue. Before digital we utilized a weekly update on all projects in-house.” — Tim Hellige

However, as digital solutions showed up in the market, BCH was quick to implement. The main goal was to improve processes and increase productivity.

Their solution of choice was Clients & Profits, which they have used for the past 20 years. Clients & Profits is a staple in the industry, as many agencies still use it today. However, the test of time has proven it was time for the change.

Bandy Carroll Hellige meets Productive

We met Tim‘s crew after their 3– 4-year search for a Clients & Profits alternative. They tried and tested many tools, and very few lived up to their expectations. The most important condition that had to be met for a new tool was simple — the ability to easily facilitate collaboration.


We wanted the ability to track services and facilitate billing but also needed a highly collaborative project management tool. — Tim Hellige

The team was eager to switch quickly, as collaboration in Productive was a game changer compared to Clients & Profits. Their willingness to adapt and improve has enabled us to implement Productive within their business in roughly 14 days. As far as customers go, BCH is an absolute joy to work with.

Seeing a company with a history as rich as theirs adopt Productive so easily is what keeps us pushing forward in providing the ultimate tool for running a profitable agency.

As a testament to our relationship so far, the closing word should come from Tim himself:

The Productive Team has been fantastic…always available to help with issues or questions. Also flexible and ready to discuss adaptations. We would absolutely recommend Productive to other agencies. — Tim Hellige

If you want to learn more about Bandy Carroll Hellige, visit their website and check them out. If you’re up for a transformation of your agency in a positive way, try Productive for free!

Sign up to our newsletter
Keep up to date with Productive updates and features