1: CULTIVATE GENUINE RELATIONSHIPS.
The first key to Top Banana's longevity is the emphasis on fostering authentic relationships. Beyond the transactional, cultivating meaningful relationships with clients and partners has been the cornerstone of their success.
"Top B is a unique group of individuals, all working together towards a common goal—bringing to life standout experiences while fostering genuine connections. It's about having fun and ensuring that work doesn’t become draining. The event industry can be stressful but turning that stress into enjoyment as a team changes everything. We’ve collaborated with brilliant businesses worldwide, forming genuine relationships with like-minded values. People remember when they’ve worked with Top Banana, even when they moved companies – we go with them!"
2: ADAPTABILITY AND STRATEGIC VISION.
The second secret lies in the adaptability and strategic vision that Top Banana embraced over the years. Responding to industry changes and challenges with a forward-thinking approach has kept them relevant and successful.
"I take pride in where Top Banana stands today—25 years is a monumental achievement. Goal setting is crucial, whether it’s personal, cultural, business, or financial related – it’s all about having something meaningful to work toward. Setting strategic, yet realistic goals can motivate and unite an entire workforce.
2019 was a highlight of my career, and my first one as a solo owner of the business! We achieved agency of the year three times over, best event, employer of the year: as a team everything was just clicking. Then March 2020, Covid came, a massive shock to the system, and we had to have difficult conversations. However, everyone rallied behind virtual, and we developed a product and became well-known in the industry for our offering, winning 20+ new clients in one year, bolstering our pipeline for years to come."
3: BE BOLD AND INNOVATIVE.
The third key secret is Top Banana's commitment to being bold and innovative, especially in challenging times, as this can lead to the biggest wins.
"Clients have massive ambitions to adapt and lead in the ever-changing commercial climate. Our role is to break that down into bite-sized chunks and grow their mindset, transforming their business along the way. Nowadays, we have to lead with creativity to surprise and delight as our audiences are more discerning, and expectations have increased. That's why it’s all about being bold and brave, trying new things, especially when budgets have tightened, as this will create the best experiences. Elevating our experiences globally, from hiring the Forbidden City in China to having President Clinton at an event, our goal is to level-up each year. People remember Top Banana because we bring something new to the table."
4: TURNING STRATEGY INTO ACTION.
The fourth secret revolves around understanding and amplifying client content. Top Banana's focus on creating goosebump moments with clients has been pivotal.
"We focus on understanding and getting under our clients’ skin through our InsideOut™ approach and amplifying their content to deliver its desired outcome. It’s about using innovation and technology, with a red thread back to the messaging, to wow audiences. We've pushed creative limits with projection mapping and facial recognition; it's about changing someone's mindset through strategic content, not just at their event but for the longer term.”
5: CREATE UNFORGETTABLE EXPERIENCES.
The last, and arguably most important, secret is the commitment to creating unforgettable experiences. From unique collaborations with global brands to pushing creative limits, Top Banana's ability to bring something new to the table has set them apart.
"We’ve had tons of amazing times as a team, delivering events all over the world. But it’s important to work hard and celebrate together. Last year we flew the entire company out to Monaco for a weekend of celebrations, after a brilliant comeback after Covid. We’re constantly making time to get together and remain as one unit, and Top B turning 25 gives us plenty of reason to go bigger and better in 2024.
The key lies in surrounding ourselves with kindred spirits – driven, organized, and creative individuals who embody authenticity and honesty. I always say, ‘Once a banana, always a banana’, as professional relationships turn into genuine friendships. Even as people move on, they remain close friends of the business, contributing to the vibrant tapestry of our journey.”
A LEGACY UNVEILED.
As Top Banana celebrates its 25th year, Richard's insights reveal that their longevity is not merely a result of chance but a deliberate and strategic approach.
"It only seems like yesterday we were sat around a table hatching a plan. Fast forward 25 years, and we’ve got a profitable, reputable business with an enviable team of talented individuals, and I couldn’t ask for more. Now, as part of TBA Group, we’re presented with an abundance of opportunities within the industry. Our sights are set on expanding into the US, making it bigger and bolder while keeping the spirit and adventure alive.
Whenever I meet someone eager to plunge into this dynamic industry, I leave them with these three points:
1. Deliver Great Work & Work Hard
2. Make Friends
3. Have fun!
These principles have acted as our compass for the past 25 years, shaping not just a successful business but a vibrant community within the industry.”
Cultivating genuine connections, adaptability, bold innovation, understanding client content, and creating unforgettable experiences—these are the secrets that have shaped Top Banana's journey and will undoubtedly continue to propel them toward even greater achievements in the future.