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.

775 Boost email open rates by 152 percent

Use your customers’ behavior to your advantage.

649 Be a Super Bowl-worthy storyteller

Take a cue from this year’s Super Bowl ads and focus on spinning a story around your brand.

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.

774 Feelings are viral

Feelings are the key to fueling likes, comments and shares.

February 2013
By Tara Hornor

Bad Romance: 10 Phrases Never to Say to Your Customers

Even in the most challenging situations, you must avoid these reputation-killers at all costs if you want to keep the love alive with your customers.
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Bad Romance: 10 Phrases Never to Say to Your Customers


Your brand’s image isn’t defined by your logo. Your message isn’t controlled by your latest carefully crafted ad campaign. Your reputation isn’t wrapped up in your website.

In today’s age of social media, each and every one of your customers holds a megaphone, and he who holds the megaphone controls the message.

As a result, every single interaction your customers have with your brand shapes not only the way they perceive your company and its values but how they share and spread that perception to others in their circles.

So in this world where every word-of-mouth message has the potential to be amplified hundreds or even thousands of times over, what can you do to protect your brand’s good name?

Of course, when times are good and everyone’s happy, it’s not too hard to provide a positive experience. But what about when things go wrong? What do you do when you’ve got a disappointed, frustrated, irate or even irrational customer on your hands? That’s when your problem-solving savvy is really put to the test.

In situations like these, it’s critical to ensure that every employee at every level of your company is thoroughly trained in tactics for transforming a conflict or complaint into a positive experience.

Here are 10 phrases you must absolutely, positively never ever say to a customer when your brand’s reputation is on the line:

That's our policy...

You care about your policies, but you know who doesn’t? Your customers. All they care about is getting their problem fixed.

Using policy as the justification for why you can't achieve this goal will fall flat every time. Of course you can’t let your customer walk all over you and it is sometimes necessary to draw a line, but you have little to risk by finding ways to work within those policies to offer an innovative solution.

There's nothing I can do...

This statement will make any customer’s blood boil. When you say “There’s nothing I can do,” what they hear is “You and your business don’t matter to us.” You might as well throw in the towel and walk away.

There's always something that can be done, even if it requires a little creativity and compromise. Make sure to give your employees leeway to improvise when necessary. A minor concession costs nothing compared to the impact of an angry customer blasting you on Twitter.

What you need to do is...

When customers call, they’re looking to you to fix their problem, not to be told how to fix it themselves.

Of course, there are some situations where it’s appropriate and even necessary to walk a customer through the steps required to solve a problem. Just be sure to choose your words carefully. The difference between saying “What you need to do” and “Let’s try this” is conveying the sense that you’re on their side and that you’re committed to working together hand-in-hand until their issue has been resolved.

I'm new at this...

Again, nobody cares. You might as well tell a customer that they should hang up, call back and hope to have better luck in reaching someone more competent.

Rather than exposing your weakness, simply bring in someone with more expertise and experience to help navigate this sticky situation. Your customer will appreciate the hands-on team approach, and you’ll benefit from learning from a pro.


Ouch! Never, ever drop the "no" bomb. If you don’t make a concerted effort to solve the problem at hand, you can kiss that customer – and every other existing or prospective customer who will listen to their tale of woe – goodbye.

I don't believe...

I'm not sure...

We don't...

Take your pick, but these are all thinly veiled ways of saying “no,” which we’ve already established is the not the right answer. Save your breath and spend your time and energy looking for ways to be helpful and find viable alternatives.

There’s no one else here you can talk to...

Unless you are literally a one-man operation, customers know you're lying when they hear this statement. There's always someone higher up that can step in.

Telling someone there's nobody else they can talk to is tantamount to saying, "You’re not worth our time." This isn’t going to diffuse their anger and will likely send them packing, irate enough to leave horrible reviews all over the Web.

I don't know how to help you with that...

This phrase is problematic even when the best of intentions are meant by the employee offering support.

Sometimes a customer will ask tough questions. Instead of saying you don't know what to do, take a proactive role in connecting them with the correct resource within the company who can handle their problem.

That's not my job...

Wrong. No matter who you are or what your job title is, keeping your customers happy is your number one responsibility. Just do it.

I hate my job...

This company sucks...

These types of statements tend to surface when both the customer and the employee are in a state of emotional upset. It’s the equivalent of telling a customer that they're not going to find any help here.

Bad-mouthing the company is never the right answer, no matter what the situation. It can do immeasurable damage, and in reality, even the angriest customer doesn’t really want commiseration.

They don't care about your opinion. They’ve taken the time to give you a chance to make it right, and they want a solution.

If you find yourself reaching a breaking point where you feel the need to make statements like this, take a step back and clear your head. You may not feel that you’re getting the support you need from your company, but customers don't need to hear this. If necessary, ask if you can put them on hold momentarily while you "search for the solution." Then take some deep breaths, get help and do whatever you need to do to rejoin the conversation with a positive attitude.


Silence is the absolute worst thing a customer can hear from you.

If it’s necessary to put a caller on hold, don't keep them waiting long. Even better, get their information and tell them you’ll call them back (and then make sure you do – promptly!).

If they’re asking tough questions or getting frustrated, responding with silence will only add fuel to their fire. But that doesn’t mean you must have the right answer on the tip of your tongue, either.

Starting with genuine empathy is a great way to diffuse the situation. Even a simple, "Yes, sir, I can see why you are upset. Let me see what I can do to help you out," will buy you some time to organize your thoughts and collect your composure so that you can confidently work toward a mutually agreeable solution.

February 2011
By JoAnne Laffey Heckman

The Art of Storytelling

Here are 10 tried-and-true tactics to increase your chances of securing media coverage.
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The Art of Storytelling


Column inches. Sound bites. Web page real estate. Inbound links.

These are the metrics by which the success of a public relations campaign is measured.

If you have news or information about your company that you want to share with the world, how do you go about trying to secure these publicity gems?

The key to getting from point A and point B is the story.

While this might seem like a basic concept, there’s much more to it than simply committing facts to paper. You must shape and craft your story strategically to convince reporters, writers and bloggers that it is important and relevant to their audience.

So, the real question is, what makes a good story, and how do you frame it in a way that persuades those who hold the megaphones to re-tell your story for you?

The process of pitching a story is much more art than science.The process of pitching a story is much more art than science, more alchemy than equation. Just like any art form, there is no formula that guarantees success. However, there are a number of tried-and-true tactics you can employ to increase your chances of getting coverage:

Think in literary terms.

Go back to the basics you learned in English lit class. Good stories are built around archetypal themes: good versus evil, perseverance through adversity, the triumph of the human spirit, the hometown boy makes good – the list goes on and on.

Identify the elements of your story that offer universal appeal and frame your story accordingly. For example, a simple press release on your newest executive hire could jump from a passing mention on the comings and goings page to a full-fledged feature if he or she boasts unique personal accomplishments, offers a different perspective or has overcome great obstacles to achieve success.

Make it timely.

By its very definition, news is “of the moment.” Follow news cycles closely and try to find a way to tie your story to current events whenever possible.

Holiday-themed and seasonal stories are always a solid bet, but don’t forget about other observances and commemorative events. Everything from National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to National Safe Boating Week to America Recycles Day could be a great opportunity for you to present a timely story that offers a connection to the news of the day.

Identify your rock stars.

Reporters are always looking for credible experts to provide insight and analysis. Make the media aware of the resources your company has to offer by presenting bios and lists of topics that your key spokespeople are qualified to discuss.

For example, a travel agent could send information detailing the size of her business and years in the industry and offer to share helpful tips on top destinations or how to find the best airfares and hotel rates.

This tactic works particularly well when timed strategically to coincide with relevant news cycles. In the case of the travel agent, she should contact reporters right before the summer and the holidays, when reporters and bloggers are looking for interesting story angles for the peak travel seasons.

Play the numbers game.

Nothing makes for good sound bite fodder like interesting data. Journalists are fact- and, therefore, numbers-driven. A surprising statistic or one that either validates or disproves a commonly held belief is often the spark that gets media tongues wagging.

Add a visual.

Providing a strong visual, such as a photo, chart or compelling video, to accompany your story will definitely increase your chances of coverage. This is especially true when targeting television or web-based media contacts, who often rely on visuals to give depth to their stories.

Also, if you’re planning an event, don’t forget to include a photo opportunity, especially if there will be well-known people in attendance. There’s no easier way to get your event noticed than a photo of a familiar face, whether it’s the mayor, a hometown celebrity or even a prominent member of society.

Do the heavy lifting.

In the wake of budget cuts and downsizing, many traditional media outlets are stretched thin and are grateful for prepackaged stories they can pick up and run as-is when they have a few extra column inches to fill.

Typically, press releases offer solid, factual information that helps reporters build their own stories. However, when targeting smaller news organizations, you may also want to consider sending a fully written article complete with quotes and photos as well as how-to advice, tip sheets or even recipes.

This approach can be very effective for broad-based consumer pitches and is often used by companies such as financial planners, real estate agents, travel agents, party planners, food companies and health care organizations.

Remember that bigger isn’t always better.

Let’s face it, we’d all like to be featured above the fold on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, but often a well-placed local hit is even more effective.

Focus your time and attention where you have the greatest chance of success – and of boosting your bottom line. If your customer base is local rather than national, craft stories that incorporate elements of local interest to help you attain coverage from writers, bloggers and broadcasters that cover your area.

Know their audience and yours.

The demographics – age, gender, education level, professional occupation, income, geographic location and political leanings – of the audience for each media outlet are critically important to determining the story you should pitch.

You can’t pitch the same story to BusinessWeek and Parents magazine. Understand what aspects of your product or service would generate interest in each publication’s core audience and tell your story accordingly.

For example, I once handled the media relations efforts for a small but very rapidly growing online party supply company. We pitched e-business stories to technology trade publications; wrote articles featuring party planning tips for small local print outlets; offered profile pieces on the owner – a working mother herself – to publications targeting parents; and conducted a media tour offering party trends and budgeting tips to national women’s publications, such as Better Homes and Gardens, Good Housekeeping and InStyle.

Keep it simple.

Although there are multiple angles you could pursue for any given story you have to tell, the only way to succeed is to tell it as simply as possible.

Remember that the reader may have little, if any, familiarity with your business or industry. Break down complex information, avoid using jargon or technical terms and use language that everyone can understand and relate to in some fashion.

Put it to the test.

The most important question in determining the strength of a story is “Would I read an article on this topic?” If you cannot honestly answer “yes,” either go back and reframe it or skip it entirely.

Reporters need to know that what you give them is worthy of their time and attention, so if it’s not worth yours, don’t pass it along. Ultimately, if you want to achieve long-term PR success, it’s important to cultivate your reputation as a source of interesting, factual and relevant information.

By inundating reporters with stories that are not legitimately newsworthy, you’ll do more harm than good and make it far less likely that they’ll take your call when you have something truly valuable to share with them.

If you employ these 10 tactics, you’ll create a strong pitch that will stand out in a sea of bland, boilerplate press releases and greatly increase the chances that your story will end up in the headlines rather than the recycling bin.