When is it time for your startup to hire a corporate bard?

Huboo — a British e-commerce fulfillment startup — hired its very own corporate bard. Yup, I’m not kidding. Just like the Celtic kings of old, they actually have a person on the payroll whose job it is to tell stories of the company’s achievements through song.

What’s weird about it though, is that I’ve been convinced this isn’t just a cheap marketing stunt. It’s actually a great lesson for startups on the magic that can be unlocked when you stay true to your founding ideals… it’s also just great marketing.

But before diving into the weird inception of Huboo’s corporate bard (always fun to keep some suspense), we need to explore the company’s original vision that led to it.

Human hubbub at Huboo

First up, despite being in a competitive market that relies on all the things VCs hate — people, buildings, and infrastructure — Huboo has grown from two part-time employees to 300 full-timers in just two years, set to reach 1,000 by the end of the year. 

Martin Bysh and his co-founder Paul Dodd managed this incredible growth by taking a different approach to traditional fulfillment, and sticking religiously to their niche. Huboo strictly focuses on providing services to SMEs, taking care of their stock, and fulfilling online orders across a host of platforms. 

Bysh says this part of the market had been totally neglected because they weren’t moving lots of products like larger companies, nor expensive ones with high margins. Before they knew it, Huboo suddenly had 60 clients without doing any real outreach. “We just sort of lumbered upon a genuine need in the market,” Bysh tells me.