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.

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.

466 Coming to terms: Infographic

The world of business is shrouded in jargon. In our new "Coming to Terms" feature, we'll shed light on these popular buzzwords, continuing in today’s episode with "infographic." (Here's a hint: it’s not a new travel magazine for data lovers.)

June 2021
Noted By Joe Bauldoff

The Making and Maintenance of our Open Source Infrastructure

In this video, Nadia Eghbal, author of “Working in Public”, discusses the potential of open source developer communities, and looks for ways to reframe the significance of software stewardship in light of how the march of time constantly and inevitably works to pull these valuable resources back into entropy and obsolescence. Presented by the Long Now Foundation.
Watch on YouTube

March 2021
Noted By Joe Bauldoff

The Case for Object-Centered Sociality

In what might be the inceptive, albeit older article on the subject, Finnish entrepreneur and sociologist, Jyri Engeström, introduces the theory of object-centered sociality: how “objects of affinity” are what truly bring people to connect. What lies between the lines here, however, is a budding perspective regarding how organizations might better propagate their ideas by shaping them as or attaching them to attractive, memorable social objects.
Read the Article

July 2013
By Jeremy Girard

Insider Secrets to Killer Website Content: 7 Steps to Building a Better Blog

Is your blog languishing in a void of ideas and enthusiasm? Here are seven easy steps to transform that blog into a powerful catalyst for driving traffic and capturing new customers.
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Insider Secrets to Killer Website Content: 7 Steps to Building a Better Blog


As important as good website design is, let’s face it, it’s not what brings visitors to your site. They come for the content, and if that content is sufficiently compelling, then they’ll take the action you desire, whether that’s making a purchase, completing a registration form or even just picking up the phone to contact you for more information. In short, the success of your website begins and ends with quality content.

That’s why in this series of articles – Insider Secrets to Killer Website Content – we’re taking a look at types of content that are common to many websites and exploring ways that they can be redesigned and improved. So far, we’ve covered customer testimonials and “About Us” pages. In this third installment of the series, we tackle the ever-popular but often poorly executed business blog.

The promise of blog content has always been the ability to easily add fresh content to your website on a regular basis. In practice, however, that’s not quite as easy as it sounds.

While the tools available to us today allow blogsto be updated very easily, authoring content that is relevant and unique is a much greater challenge – one that proves to be the downfall of many a blog.

The challenges of maintaining and sustaining a blog

Every new blog is launched with the loftiest of goals and expectations. Plans are laid to write articles chock-full of insight on the latest industry trends, and anticipation is high for the proliferation of inbound links to come along with the resulting boost in search engine rankings.

The road to realizing those dreams starts with quality content, but being able to produce that content on a regular basis is where the rubber meets the road – which often proves to be a much greater obstacle than many realize when they initially decide to launch a blog.

At the outset of blogging, enthusiasm is high and ideas flow like honey. But all too often, after a few months or even weeks, the content begins to falter. The frequency between updates grows, and the quality wanes as articles begin to read more like standard press releases or company news updates.

For any blog to succeed, it must have regularly published content that is timely and relevant. If you can also make that content unique, then you have achieved the trifecta of excellent blog content.

So how do you ensure that the enthusiasm and quality that you have at launch can be sustained past the first handful of posts? Here are seven steps to turn your blog into a powerful traffic-boosting, sales-generating machine:

1. Answer questions you are being asked.

Every writer’s biggest challenge is coming up with a topic – and blogging is no different.

Staring at a blank screen and trying to get started on a new article is a daunting task indeed. But one way you can generate some topic ideas is to think about questions that often come up in your day-to-day conversations with your customers.

Whenever I begin brainstorming ideas for a new article, I start by reflecting on these conversations. Typically, I can identify a few topics that I’ve recently been asked about, and I can also recall the answers I gave and the discussion that ensued. More often than not, these provide the perfect foundation for a new article.

By coming up with a list of common client questions, you’ll provide yourself with excellent potential blog topics. Better yet, you’ll also create content that people are actually interested in and actively looking for – because you can bet that if these questions are being asked of you, then there are others out there who are looking for those same answers too.

2. Write about what others are not writing about.

Answering common questions is a great start, but you can really take your blog to the next level if the articles you publish – and the answers you provide – are unique.

Think about your own experiences in searching for answers online. If you search for a topic and find very few relevant articles addressing that topic, then that article – and its source – become gold to you. If it’s a really great article that does indeed answer your questions, you will tell others about it via social media or by posting links on message boards and forums where you are an active participant. A unique article succeeds because it addresses a topic that no one else effectively has.

The value of an article with little competition increases exponentially. So anytime you’re brainstorming new blog content topics, be sure to do a search for articles that may be similar in nature. If you do find similar content, make sure yours offers a different perspective or creative spin. If you do not find similar articles, this is your golden opportunity to publish something truly unique.

3. Keep to a schedule and plan ahead.

A schedule is critical when it comes to sustaining your blog over the long term. The frequency with which you update your blog with new content – whether it’s daily, weekly or monthly – will be different depending the nature of your industry and your audience. However, sticking to that schedule is what’s important, because it is all too easy to miss a deadline and brush it off as no big deal. But once you miss one deadline, it’s that much easier to miss another and another and another – until the gap between articles becomes substantial, and getting back on track becomes a grueling uphill battle.

One way to ensure that you keep to a schedule is to plan ahead, and planning ahead starts with ideas. If you dedicate time for you and your team to brainstorm article topics (whether individually or in a group session), you’ll inevitably find that one great idea leads to another and another.

When you have a handful of great article concepts to work on, it’s often tempting to publish these articles in quick succession. However, it’s important to avoid this temptation. Instead, make the most of your brainstorming momentum and plan out exactly when each of these articles will be published based on a regular, sustainable rhythm.

By having a handful of quality articles in queue, you can more easily keep to your schedule. And, of course, while you are waiting to publish those new articles, you can brainstorm new ideas and write those articles so that you always have fresh content at the ready.

Maintaining a schedule helps ensure that you do not publish new articles either too infrequently or too frequently but instead maintain a steady stream of quality content so that your readers know when to expect new articles and remain engaged with your blog.

4. Keep it short and sweet.

One concern I often hear voiced when I speak with clients about blogging is that they fear they will not be able to maintain a regular rhythm of publishing because of the time it takes to do so.

Yes, writing blog content takes time, but if you’re doing it right, it’s not as much as you might think. Blog articles do not need to be lengthy to be effective. In fact, short articles that are very sharply focused and easy to read are often the most effective and popular articles you can write.

By keeping articles short in length but high in quality, you can publish great content with much less of a demand on resources than you may have initially expected while still realizing the value that fresh blog content brings to your site.

5. Enlist help.

Another way to minimize the time impact of creating new blog content is to spread the workload around. If only one individual in your organization is tasked with authoring articles for your blog, then the entire burden of maintaining your publishing schedule falls on their shoulders, which means you also have a single point of failure if their other job responsibilities start encroaching on their available time for blogging. If you have a team of authors, however, then the impact on any one individual is minimized.

In addition to the benefits of sharing the responsibilities, having multiple voices represented on your blog also brings much needed variety to its content. Different authors bring different ideas, expertise and perspectives to the table, helping to create a more well‐rounded blog. Plus, if your organization offers a variety of services, then having experts who can cover a wide array of subjects will give your blog relevance to a broader audience.

When enlisting authors for your blog, look for those with distinct voices that will bring something new to the site as well as those who are enthusiastic about writing and eager to contribute.

You should also seek out those aforementioned subject matter experts in your organization. Many people are hesitant to recruit these experts to write – often because they are so valuable to an organization that pulling them away from their “real work” is seen as counterproductive. This could not be further from the truth. The reality is that these subject matter experts have a perspective that others do not. Remember, you want unique, relevant content that will resonate with your audience. What better way to achieve that goal than by turning to those who know it best? As an added bonus, when your readers see that you have true experts at work behind the scenes, your business and your brand as a whole will benefit from a boost in reputation.

6. Embrace current events.

Timeliness can be important in blog articles. When a topic is current, it is often relevant and being actively sought out by interested readers. Therefore, creating blog content that addresses those current events and latest development can be a great way to add articles to your site with information that others are talking about and looking for right now.

If you are consistently on the lookout for relevant current events that you can build content around, and you are also answering frequently asked client questions as covered earlier in this article, then you are well on your way to ensuring you never run out of possible ideas for new blog content.

7. Get ready to share.

If publishing timely, relevant and unique blog content is step one in building and maintaining a successful blog for your website, then promoting that blog content is a logical step two.

Great content will get found, but can do a lot to facilitate this process by promoting it. Yes, this means letting your connections on social media know about a new article once it is published, but just posting a link on your company’s Facebook page is not enough. You also need to also look for more targeted situations where you can share this content.

One example would be to include a link an email exchange you are having with a current client or prospect as a reference point when they ask a question that your post helps to answer. Furthermore, you and your team should become active participants on other websites and forums where the members of your tribe live day in and day out and where you can post links to your articles when appropriate to the conversation (don’t overdo it, of course, or you’ll become a community pariah). Also, by featuring related articles within each post in your blog, you can introduce readers to other content that they may not have been looking for at that moment, but which they will find valuable, too.

Whatever avenues of promotion you use – and you should use a number of different methods – the goal is to spread the word to readers who are looking for the content you are creating.

Watch your hard work pay off.

There’s no doubt about it – maintaining an effective blog is hard work. But with strategic planning and a solid team behind you, you can publish quality content on a regular basis – content that will serve as a powerful catalyst for bringing new visitors to your website and new customers through your doors.

October 2009
By The Author

Put Away the Smoke and Mirrors

Stop wasting your time and money creating the illusion of value and start making good on your promises.
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Put Away the Smoke and Mirrors

“Smoke and mirrors.” “Dog and pony show.” “Image is everything.” These phrases, which are deeply embedded in the vernacular and philosophy of old-school marketing firms, may appear on the surface as nothing more than harmless – if hackneyed – corporate speak. However, these seemingly innocuous clichés actually betray one of traditional marketing's dirtiest secrets. Once the clever headlines, catchy taglines and glamorous images are stripped away, all that’s left at the core is fluff, spin, deception and the art of inventing meaning where there is none. Even they don’t believe their own hype. Yet these are the very same people to whom business owners and decision makers have entrusted their livelihood for decades. Who’s to say the interactions you have with your followers can’t be meaningful?At its heart, your business shares the same goal with every other: to grow, thrive and compete successfully in your market niche. In order to do this, you must engage your customers and build a community around your brand. With old marketing, the relationship between seller and consumer has always taken place at arm’s length, using traditional media channels that rely on flash and frequency, that require a tremendous investment to outshine and outspend the competition. However, who’s to say your relationships with your customers can’t be personal? Who’s to say the interactions you have with your followers can’t be meaningful? The answer: No one who values your success over their own bottom line.

Leading by example

We tend to take established brands for granted, assuming the secret to their success lies in their ability to pour unlimited resources into every available advertising medium to broadcast slick, highly polished messages of self-promotion. However, a closer look at some of today’s most recognizable names reveals a different story. Let’s start with Amazon. If you think about it, there is nothing inherently glamorous about an online bookstore. Yet Amazon has managed to create a following so pervasive that it catapulted from an upstart dot-com to one of the world’s most powerful e-commerce megabrands, all without ever relying on pricey TV and magazine ads. “Advertising is the tax you pay for unremarkable thinking.” How did they do it? The answer is not smoke and mirrors. They did not trick anyone into drinking the Amazon Kool-Aid. Rather they committed themselves and their budget to creating a better shopping experience by developing more intuitive technology, stronger distribution networks and more competitive shipping deals. These are genuine and distinct advantages from which their customers benefit each and every time they interact with the brand, thus solidifying Amazon’s reputation for ease of use, low prices and quality service. Another brand that has risen to the top of its category by flying in the face of traditional marketing wisdom is Geek Squad. As founder Robert Stephens explained at Advertising Age’s 2007 IDEA Conference, “Advertising is the tax you pay for unremarkable thinking.” Instead, by taking a creative approach to what he himself calls an innately “boring business,” he has transformed his one-man show into a corporation that employs more than 17,000 nationwide. In an interview with Inc. magazine, Stephens explained his low-budget strategy:
Without spending any money on marketing, we were able to get people talking about Geek Squad by tapping into themes and archetypes people already understood. We embraced the fact that we were geeks, and we dressed all of our employees like 1960s NASA technicians, since NASA is a symbol of problem solving, teamwork and impossible tasks…In our early years, we found that more than 90 percent of people found us through word of mouth.
In fact, he credits his initial lack of monetary resources with forcing him to work harder, to be more innovative, to dig deeper, to develop an original and authentic approach that has differentiated Geek Squad from all other competitors: Stephen Roberts

At the crossroads of marketing and meaning

So where do these two concepts intersect for you? It lies in the fundamentals. Your business – let alone your category – would not exist if there were not a legitimate need for your product or service among some segment of the population. There is a community out there that is receptive to your message, that is waiting to be wowed with a newer, better way of doing things. Furthermore, your company would not be here today if at some time someone somewhere hadn’t felt passionately enough about whatever it is you do to risk everything to get that company off the ground. It’s time to reignite that passion and convey it in a way that inspires others. Make a conscious decision to be better, to be different. Resolve to enhance your usefulness; commit yourself to unrelenting innovation; make sure you are delivering a premium experience to your customer; then tell people about it in a genuine and compelling way. And that’s where you’ll need help. But you don’t need just any old traditional agency; you need a partner who shares your belief in what you have to offer and your passion for why you do what you do better than anyone else. You need experts that can show you how to communicate this to your audience in a real and honest way, using available technologies to build community among your customers and keep them actively engaged to the point where they include you as part of their identity. When you have something meaningful to say, and you say it with conviction, people will listen. No smoke and mirrors required.