ShipMonk started back in 2014 out of a true need for a service in an industry that was growing faster than anything else. Now, in 2020, the company that provides stress-free packing and shipping services for small and mid-sized e-commerce companies is continuing additional expansion and growth with hundreds of employees. Jan Bednar, the CEO of ShipMonk, talks about the origin of the brand name ShipMonk, what was the reason behind acquiring the exact brand match domain ShipMonk.com and why having a strong online presence is essential for their success.
What was the original source of inspiration for you to start ShipMonk? Were there particular trends or market demands you were responding to?
I’m originally from the Czech Republic, and I came to the U.S. to pursue a college education. My friends and family back home would often ask me to send them American products, as many companies were either unable or unwilling to ship to countries outside of North America. I found a solution for that through my first company, BedaBox, which was actually born right out of my dorm room in college. BedaBox started out as a package forwarding business, which meant that I would purchase products in the States, package them, and ship them out to a recipient outside the US. As I began to gain traction, I was approached by a local eCommerce company for order fulfillment, which at the time was not only an enormous risk but also an enormous opportunity. Nevertheless, I had a genuine desire to improve — and possibly even revolutionize — the logistics industry, which is how ShipMonk was born.
Why did you originally decide to brand your company under the name “ShipMonk”, were there any other names you were considering?
The idea behind “ShipMonk” actually came quite spontaneously. It was after hours, and the very first ShipMonk employees and I were bouncing off ideas. We wanted something “zen” to emphasize how easy and stress-free our company would be… and what could be more zen than a monk?!
Did you know the value or importance of owning an exact match domain and what impact it could have on your business? What was your reasoning behind acquiring the exact brand match domain?
As a startup, we knew that it was crucial to create a brand that would be memorable, recognizable, and accessible. We wanted to leave a lasting impression on anyone and everyone who stumbled upon ShipMonk. Maintaining brand consistency, both online and offline, still remains a top priority for us. Our customers rely on us and our brand, and we build loyalty and trust from brand recognition.
Did you start off with the ShipMonk.com domain name, or was it an upgrade from a previous one?
We started off with BedaBox.com, but once we transitioned from package forwarding to order fulfillment, we changed our name and domain to fit our new business and brand. While the change was a result of our company evolving, which you could call an upgrade, it was not necessarily an upgrade from any previous name or domain.
What was the best and worst part about the process of acquiring the domain ShipMonk.com?
Acquiring the ShipMonk was super easy. There were no other businesses registered under this name so the domain was available. The hardest part was spending $2,500!
How important is the presence of your brand online? What plays the most important role in people finding you on the web?
Our online presence is super important! Since the beginning, we’ve focused on a few key factors that have allowed for that presence to build.
First, we lucked out with a dynamic content strategy that has directly impacted ShipMonk’s growth. When it comes to content, our marketing team chooses helpful and informative over sales-focused content. We’re super proud of our blog and devote a lot of time and care into providing great posts for our readers. Because of our marketing efforts, we’ve been featured in different articles, interviews, and even won awards related to the logistics industry. As a result, our SEO rankings have skyrocketed. Most importantly, we are considered a “helpful resource” which both attracts new viewers and keeps the old viewers coming back.
If your brand is a person, how would you describe its personality?
If ShipMonk were a person, they would definitely be someone you’d want to get to know! On one hand, our brand personality is kind of like the smart and helpful friend — someone who is always there for you through thick and thin and who knows what to do when the going gets tough. On the other hand, ShipMonk has a fun and adventurous side, like that friend who is always on the go and trying new things.
Who is your go-to person for business advice, for domain names, and in general?
I don’t necessarily have a go-to person, but I find that I can rely on my mentors as well as my awesome team for valuable insight and feedback. I think it’s important to surround yourself with people who have different perspectives. That way, when it’s time to make important decisions, I can piece it all together to get a complete overview.
If you could time travel back to day one of your startup and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would say the biggest thing would be not to listen to people when they tell you you can’t do something. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true. Although I got started early in life, I have to admit that I let myself get dissuaded from time to time. If I could go back, I would’ve kept going no matter what. Nobody knows your path in life, so don’t let them dictate it for you.
What’s next for ShipMonk? Where do you see the company in 5 years from now?
As ShipMonk continues to grow, innovation and transparency will always be at the forefront for us. It’s what has made us stand out in the logistics industry, and we plan on continuing to perfect our values and provide the best possible service to existing and new customers alike.
Furthermore, we are attempting to pave the path towards automated fulfillment solutions, which will be a pretty big part of our company moving forward. We’ve recently hired a clan of robot “employees” to help with automating our warehouse, and it’s incredible seeing what they can do. All in all, I would say we are looking forward to the future and excited about what’s to come!
We hope this will be of use to you in the process of getting your perfect domain name. If you have any questions, need any help, or just want to chat with someone about the process, book a free consultation at MarkUpgrade, we are always happy to hear from you.