Simon Barnett, CEO, OBO Goalkeeping
The founder of the OBO, Simon has captured 70% of the global market protecting field hockey goalkeepers while he does not even play hockey.
“Good Sh*t that really works”. The slogan of the company OBO sets a unique example of how doing things differently and authentic helps you become a dominant global leader in the business you do.
00:42- About Simon Barnett
The founder of the OBO, Simon has captured 70% of the global market protecting field hockey goalkeepers while he does not even play hockey. He has been so successful that
100% of the female hockey goalies and over 50% of the men at the Rio Olympics use his stuff, which has been very well recognized.
01:15- Where did it all start ?
From selling frogs as a kid to his neighbors then starting a business at the age of 16 of making and selling table tennis tables, Simon went on to study business and marketing at university. He then successfully built his business model of protective gear for hockey players.
06:13- Was the objective from the start to be a dominant global leader in this field?
It initially started with the idea of having a business that is not very complicated, so instead of choosing the entire hockey market, the focus was only on the hockey goalkeeper.
06:59- What has been the secret of your success?
Apart from strong marketing and branding two components, design led and consumer focused products are the key to success.
When “you’ve got a very fine product, then success tends to follow”. From the start, the company focused on listening to the needs and getting feedback from the goalkeepers. The product is built around the needs of the user. The company’s slogan “designed by goalkeepers for goalkeepers” supported the very same idea. The other key component was the design of the product.
09:48- Is the hint of humor in the marketing style of OBO intentional?
It is intentional, the focus has constantly been to be unique, fresh, and different. The product of the company was a strong part, but it was not enough for the company to become a global leader, it required strong and unique branding to support it.
19:28- “Communities don’t become strong because they are rich, they become rich because they are strong.” What made you say that ?
Companies do need to be great at product, branding and marketing, but they also need to be great members of their community. Communities are the family companies have to work with in the broader sense. OBO has always been committed to being available to the needs of the community by contributing particularly for housing and food.
25:30- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I like making and selling things, this itself comes from the fact that a lot of people in my family over the generations have been doing the same thing involving different products. Another thing that is important is to be good at what you do, which happens when you enjoy and love what you’re doing.
27:02- What’s the advice that you’ll give to young people starting their journey in life?
Find something that you enjoy that is also challenging at the same time. To start a career, choosing something that you could develop a passion for and having fun with it but also being focused at serving the need will keep you connected with the consumer. Being authentic in life is another important piece of advice that Simon shared.
29:11 What does OBO mean ?
It’s a meaningless word that is easier to pronounce and remember, which helps in good marketing and is available. But it now means the best goalkeeping gear in the world.
You can connect with Simon Barnett on LinkedIn
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The founder of the OBO, Simon has captured 70% of the global market protecting field hockey goalkeepers while he does not even play hockey. He has been so successful that 100% of the female hockey goalies and over 50% of the men at the Rio Olympics use his stuff, which has been very well recognized.