We are the digital agency
crafting brand experiences
for the modern audience.
We are Fame Foundry.

See our work. Read the Fame Foundry magazine.

We love our clients.

Fame Foundry seeks out bold brands that wish to engage their public in sincere, evocative ways.

WorkWeb DesignSportsEvents

Platforms for racing in the 21st century.

Fame Foundry puts the racing experience in front of millions of fans, steering motorsports to the modern age.

“Fame Foundry created something never seen before, allowing members to interact in new ways and providing them a central location to call their own. It also provides more value to our sponsors than we have ever had before.”

—Ryan Newman

Technology on the track.

Providing more than just web software, our management systems enhance and reinforce a variety of services by different racing organizations which work to evolve the speed, efficiency, and safety measures, aiding their process from lab to checkered flag.

WorkWeb DesignRetail

Setting the pace across 44 states.

With over 1100 locations, thousands of products, and millions of transactions, Shoe Show creates a substantial retail footprint in shoe sales.

The sole of superior choice.

With over 1100 locations, thousands of products, and millions of transactions, Shoe Show creates a substantial retail footprint in shoe sales.

WorkWeb DesignRetail

The contemporary online pharmacy.

Medichest sets a new standard, bringing the boutique experience to the drug store.

Integrated & Automated Marketing System

All the extensive opportunities for public engagement are made easily definable and effortlessly automated.

Scheduled promotions, sales, and campaigns, all precisely targeted for specific demographics within the whole of the Medichest audience.

WorkWeb DesignSocial

Home Design & Decor Magazine offers readers superior content on designer home trends on any device.

  • By selectively curating the very best from their individual markets, each localized catalog comes to exhibit the trending, pertinent visual flavors specific to each region.

  • Beside the swaths of inspirational home photography spreads, Home Design & Decor provides exhaustive articles and advice by proven professionals in home design.

  • The art of home ingenuity always dances between the timeless and the experimental. The very best in these intersecting principles offer consistent sources of modern innovation.

WorkWeb DesignSocial

  • Post a need on behalf of yourself, a family member or your community group, whether you need volunteers or funds to support your cause.

  • Search by location, expertise and date, and connect with people in your very own community who need your time and talents.

  • Start your own Neighborhood or Group Page and create a virtual hub where you can connect and converse about the things that matter most to you.

January 2020
Noted By Joe Bauldoff

The Death of Advertising and What Will Rise From Its Ashes

Some pardonable future-shock forecasting in this article, but what remains clear is that the internet changed the advertising pursuit—bridging chasms between niche buyers & sellers—and that we have yet to find out what betides us beyond The Algorithm Age.
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163 FF Rewind - Top 10 tips of the quarter: Break through the trust barrier

Our countdown of the top 10 tips of the past quarter resumes today with an installment from our series on the reasons why it pa

December 2016
By Kimberly Barnes

Going the Distance: Four Ways to Build a Better Customer Loyalty Program for Your Brand

Loyalty programs are no longer a novelty. That means that yesterday’s strategies won’t work moving forward, so look for ways to rise above the noise, setting yourself apart from the cloying drone of countless other cookie-cutter programs.
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Going the Distance: Four Ways to Build a Better Customer Loyalty Program for Your Brand

article-thedistance-lg It’s easy enough for a customer to join your loyalty program, especially when you’re offering an incentive such as discounts. All your customer has to do is give out some basic information, and voila! They’re in the fold, a brand new loyalty member with your company. From there, it’s happily ever after. You offer the perks; they stand solidly by you, bringing you their continued business. Simple. Or is it? In reality, just how many of those customers are act ively participating in your loyalty program? Do you know? Sure, loyalty program memberships are on the rise according to market research company eMarketer, having jumped 25 percent in the space of just two years. However, that figure may be a bit misleading. The truth is that, while loyalty program sign-ups may be more numerous, active participation in such programs is actually in decline. At the time of the study, the average US household had memberships in 29 loyalty programs; yet consumers were only active in 12 of those. That’s just 41 percent. And even that meager figure represents a drop of 2 percentage points per year over each of the preceding four years, according to a study by loyalty-marketing research company COLLOQUY.

When discounts just aren’t enough

So what’s a brand to do? How can you make your loyalty program worth your customer’s while—as well as your own? After all, gaining a new loyalty member doesn’t mean much if your customer isn’t actively participating in your program. Consider this: Does your customer loyalty program offer members anything different from what your competitors are offering? Chances are your program includes discounts. That’s a given. And what customer doesn’t appreciate a good discount? But when every other company out there is providing this staple benefit in comparable amounts, it becomes less and less likely that customers will remain loyal to any one particular brand. Frankly, it’s all too easy for customers to get lost in a sea of loyalty member discounts. They’re everywhere. In fact, just under half of internet users perceive that all rewards programs are alike, according to a 2015 eMarketer survey. The key to success, then, is to differentiate your business from the crowd. If you can offer your customers something unique and valuable beyond the usual discount, chances are they’ll be more likely to stick with your brand. Here’s some inspiration from companies who get it.

Virgin: Reward more purchases with more benefits.

That’s not to say you need to get rid of discounts entirely. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Customers still love a good discount. The goal is to be creative in terms of the loyalty perks you offer. Take the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, for example. As part of its loyalty program, the airline allows members to earn miles and tier points. Members are inducted at the Club Red tier, from which they can move up to Club Silver and then Club Gold. Here, it’s not just a discount. It’s status. And people respond to feeling important, elite. Still, even where the rewards themselves are concerned, Virgin is motivating loyalty customers with some pretty attractive offers. At the Club Red tier, members earn flight miles and receive discounts on rental cars, airport parking, hotels and holiday flights. But as members rise in tiers, they get even more. At the Club Silver tier, members earn 50 percent more points on flights, access to expedited check-in, and priority standby seating. And once they reach the top, Club Gold members receive double miles, priority boarding and access to exclusive clubhouses where they can get a drink or a massage before their flight. Now that’s some serious incentive to keep coming back for more. Discounts are still part of the equation – but they are designed with innovation and personal value in mind, elevating them to more than just savings.

Amazon Prime: Pay upfront and become a VIP.

What if your customers only had to pay a one-time upfront fee to get a year’s worth of substantial benefits? It may not sound like the smartest business idea at first glance. But take a closer look. Amazon Prime users pay a nominal $99 a year to gain free, two-day shipping on millions of products with no minimum purchase. And that’s just one benefit of going Prime. It’s true that Amazon loses $1-2 billion a year on Prime. This comes as no surprise given the incredible value the program offers. But get this: Amazon makes up for its losses in markedly higher transaction frequency. Specifically, Prime members spend an average of $1,500 a year on Amazon.com, compared with $625 spent by non-Prime users, a ccording to a 2015 report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Patagonia: Cater to customer values.

Sometimes, the draw for consumers isn’t saving money or getting a great deal. The eco-friendly outdoor clothing company Patagonia figured this out back in 2011, when it partnered with eBay to launch its Common Threads Initiative: a program that allows customers to resell their used Patagonia clothing via the company’s website. Why is this program important to customers? And how does it benefit Patagonia? The company’s brand embraces environmental and social responsibility, so it was only fitting that they create a platform for essentially recycling old clothing rather than merely throwing it away. The Common Threads Initiative helps Patagonia build a memorable brand and fierce loyalty by offering its customers a cause that aligns with deep personal values. OK, so their customers get to make a little money, too. Everybody wins.

American Airlines: Gamify your loyalty program.

If you’re going to offer your customers a loyalty program, why not make it f un? After all, engagement is key to building a strong relationship with your customer. And what better way to achieve that goal than making a game of it. American Airlines had this very thing in mind when it created its AAdvantage Passport Challenge following its merger with USAirways. The goal: find a new way to engage customers as big changes were underway. Using a custom Facebook application, American Airlines created a virtual passport to increase brand awareness while offering members a chance to earn bonus points. Customers earned these rewards through a variety of game-like activities, from answering trivia questions to tracking travel through a personalized dashboard. In the end, participants earned more than 70 percent more stamps than expected – and the airline saw a ROI of more than 500 percent. The takeaway: people like games.

Stand out from the crowd.

Your approach to your customer loyalty program should align with your overall marketing approach. Effective branding is about standing out, not blending it. Being memorable is key. To this end, keep in mind that loyalty programs are no longer a novelty. That means that yesterday’s strategies won’t work moving forward, so look for ways to rise above the noise, setting yourself apart from the cloying drone of countless other cookie-cutter programs.

January 2020
Noted By Joe Bauldoff

How To Successfully Design Organizational Processes

Will Larson, Head of Foundation Engineering at Stripe, discusses & instructs developing and evolving an effective process. Available here in both article and video formats.
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June 2014
By Kimberly Barnes

The Apartment That Pinterest Built: CB2 Redesigns Social Engagement

CB2 used an empty NYC apartment as the blank canvas upon which it redefined the concept of real-time social media engagement.
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The Apartment That Pinterest Built: CB2 Redesigns Social Engagement

In May, 873 Broadway in New York City became the epicenter of a truly innovative social media campaign from home decor chain CB2, as an empty apartment was furnished from start to finish in five days, with designers transforming the blank canvases of five separate rooms into livable spaces – all based on the preferences of Pinterest users. landingpage So how did this campaign work, exactly? CB2 selected five popular designers, stylists and lifestyle bloggers, each of whom was assigned to one of the rooms. Each of these five pinned many potential pieces for their rooms, and the items that received the most likes from other Pinterest users ultimately found a place in the room’s final layout – resulting in a decorating style CB2 calls “modern together.” pins As if this concept wasn’t intriguing enough, CB2 added another element of engagement by posting cameras and video crews in the apartment, documenting the events as they unfolded in real-time so that users could watch the rooms take shape around their selections via time-lapse photos. The Apt CB2 campaign was CB2's first venture into big brand advertising, and they entered the arena with a vengeance. By leveraging their own fan base combined with the followings of five popular designers, they created a powerful foundation of motivated participants, whose efforts and engagement in the campaign were rewarded through a unique real-time connection between the online world and the real world. The campaign is, in fact, a veritable showcase of savvy modern marketing strategies, and it offers some great takeaways for other brands looking to follow suit. Let’s examine the anatomy of the Apt CB2 campaign and uncover the secrets to its success:

Customer driven decision-making

In the era when traditional advertising reigned supreme, push marketing was the norm. But in today’s marketplace, word-of-mouth recommendations, reviews and in-store interactions now carry far more weight with consumers. As a result, contemporary marketing gives greater focus to the "pull." bedroom2 CB2 showed a masterful grasp of pull marketing in the Apt CB2 promotion, which gave users a vehicle by which they could make choices and have their voices heard in a way that was both tangible and immediate.

Real-time engagement

The ability for brands to interact directly with their customers is one of the hallmarks of the digital marketing era. And according to research presented at SXSW 2012, when that interaction occurs in real time, brand marketing gets a huge boost. So what kind of boost are we talking about here? The research noted a whole laundry list of benefits, including:

  • More positive perceptions of brands
  • Greater willingness to try a new product
  • Greater willingness to recommend a product to friends and family
  • Better performance of related marketing campaigns

The social celebrity factor

CB2 didn’t rely solely on the appeal of real-time interaction alone to drive the success of its campaign. After all, if a pouf lands in the living room of an apartment and nobody is watching, did it really land there at all? That’s why they cleverly added prominent design celebrities to the mix, guaranteeing that they’d get an immediate fusion of new eyes and new fingers eager to click their favorite selections. designers Just how much interest can a celebrity add to a marketing campaign? A lot, actually. Each of the five designers selected for the Apt CB2 campaign came to the promotion with a sizable fan base. Let’s take a look at the numbers based on their Pinterest following alone:

Of course, not all of their followers would participate in Apt CB2, but even a small percentage of numbers like these is nothing to sneeze at.

There's a contest, too

This super-sized promotion isn't done yet, though. For those Pinterest fans who weren’t moved by the menu of celebrities or the fascination of real-time "vote and view" apartment decorating, Apt CB2 offered yet another draw – the chance to win a room furnished by CB2 valued at $5,000. contest

News coverage and PR

Needless to say, Apt CB2 has garnered a lot of interest in the news media. And that interest is accompanied by some extremely high-quality free publicity. We at Fame Foundry aren’t the only ones who’ve taken notice of this innovative campaign. News about Apt CB2 was picked up almost immediately by major outlets including Fast Company, the New York Times and International Business Times as well as a raft of lifestyle and home decor websites and blogs. CB2 has also supplemented their free exposure by placing paid advertising on relevant websites, notably Apartment Therapy.

Social integration

The real genius of the campaign, however, is the synergy that it creates between all of these different features. The whole, in this case, really is much greater than the sum of its parts. floorplan03 Without question, social media is a valuable way for brands to reach their intended audience, providing great opportunities for brand building, messaging and conversation marketing. Even the best luxury brands know the power of social media. Take, for example, the innovative ways in which Burberry has incorporated social media into their marketing efforts. And while the Apt CB2 campaign is a bit reminiscent of Burberry's best efforts, it takes social integration several steps further. The result is a brilliant combination of social media, marketing strategy, public relations and targeted advertising – all rolled up into one highly engaging package.

November 2015
By Jeremy Girard

Is Your Brand Ready to #OptOutside? How to Follow REI’s Bold Leap into Customer-Centric Marketing

Rather than trying to out-spend, out-market and out-advertise your competition, outsmart them by demonstrating to your customers that you're more in touch with their wants and needs.
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Is Your Brand Ready to #OptOutside? How to Follow REI’s Bold Leap into Customer-Centric Marketing

artice_optoutside-lg For many retailers, the day known as Black Friday has become one of the most important dates on their calendar. Last year, shoppers in the US spent just over $9 billion on the day after Thanksgiving, counting for a sizable percentage of many stores’ holiday sales. This is why it was so surprising when outdoor equipment retailer, REI, announced that they would be closing all 143 of their stores this Black Friday and encouraging their employees and customers to #OptOutside instead. It remains to be seen if this bold move on the part of REI will make a dent in the company’s sales over the entire holiday period or if they will make up the difference elsewhere. What we do already know is that the early reactions to this decision have been extremely positive and there are some valuable lessons to be learned from this campaign from REI.

Customer-centric marketing is still marketing.

Make no mistake about it, this decision by REI is marketing. They have an entire section of their website dedicated to this #OptOutside idea and they are encouraging others to join them and to “tell the world.” A company does not take these steps for a simple announcement of a change in store hours. You go to these lengths for a marketing campaign. The fact that this is a marketing campaign should in no way take away from what REI is doing with this idea. They are voluntarily skipping out on one of the biggest shopping days of the year in order to do something that will benefit their people. Not only are they losing out on the sales from that day, but they are paying their employees to head outside! So this day is costing the company in a number of ways. Yes, this is marketing, but that does not also mean it is not an amazing and honest decision by this company. Marketing does not need to be a shady or deceptive thing, it simply needs to shine a light on your company. If you can do that while also doing something positive, that is a win-win situation. optout

Stay true to your ideals.

The main reason why this campaign from REI is so perfect is because it is absolutely in line with the company’s overall ideals. This idea makes sense coming from REI in a way that it would not if it was being done by Wal-Mart. That is not a knock on Wal-Mart, it is just the simple truth that this kind of a campaign would not be on brand for that retailer, while it is for REI. When planning your own campaigns, remember to remain true to your company’s ideals and mission. No one likes marketing that feels disingenuous, so by being true to who you are, your efforts have a much better chance of being well received.

Make the hard decisions.

On-brand or not, this decision could not have been an easy one for REI to make. There is no way to deny the fact that they will lose sales by closing the store on Black Friday. Still, they made the hard choice to follow through with this initiative anyway. That is an important lesson. Doing something new and unexpected is rarely easy. Sometimes it can be really, really hard. If you have thought through your plan and decided that it is the right direction for your company, you will need to make that hard decision and press forward. Depending on the structure of your company, making hard choices may require buy in from multiple people. Have these discussions and evaluate all the angles, but in the end, do not allow a hard decision to prevent you from making the right decision.

Do the opposite of your competition.

REI’s decision to shut their doors on Black Friday is so surprising because it is the exact opposite of what other stores are doing. Other companies are expanding their hours of operation, with many of them opening on Thanksgiving to get a jump on the shopping frenzy. A company that stands up and decides to take the exact opposite approach of what everyone else is doing gets noticed. When planning your own marketing or promotional ideas, look to what your competitors are doing and think about how you could turn the entire situation on its head. Dare to be wildly different and take the opportunity to show the world how you are different from your competition and why that should matter to them. Taking a unique approach can be incredibly powerful, especially in the world of the Web where everyone seems to be playing a game of “monkey see, monkey do” and just rehashing the same old campaigns and approaches over and over. If you want to break that mold, you can start by moving in the opposite direction of everyone else.

Tell the world.

The best marketing idea in the world will fail if you do not share that idea with the world. You need to promote your campaign so it reaches your customers and potential customers. In the case of REI, they didn’t just put a small sign on the doors of their stores to let customers know about their Black Friday plans. They shot videos, made a website, and created a whole campaign around their #OptOutside hash tag. When planning your marketing campaigns, be sure that you couple a great idea with a strategy to communicate it effectively. REI has done this perfectly and the incredibly positive reception they have received from people fed up with the ridiculousness of Black Friday has helped propel this campaign even further. All the while, people are talking about REI in a powerful and positive light. Yes the company may lose some sales on Black Friday, but what they are gaining in terms of public perception and promotion is priceless!

Have a plan.

In addition to communicating what you are doing with the world, you should also have a plan to capitalize on the results. REI is not stupid, they know that the business will still come and I fully expect them to run sales the rest of that Black Friday weekend. People who appreciate what the company has done for their employees and customers may make it a point to shop with them that weekend as a show of support. In the end, the company may even make up those lost Black Friday sales that weekend or over the course of the holidays. This has to be part of their ultimate plan – to do something positive and different while also positioning it in such a way that they will be able to recover anything that may have been lost. It’s a great plan for all involved.

In summary

REI took a bold stand in their efforts to break away from what every other retailer is doing with their Black Friday promotions. Instead of fighting for attention on that crazy shopping day, they have decided to take a different route. Because they stayed true to their ideals, made some tough decisions, and were unafraid to shake things up and be different, they are the store that people are talking about leading up to Black Friday, which is interesting since they are the only ones who will be closed that day.