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.
Read the Article

085 - FF Rewind - Top 10 tips of the quarter: Commit to constant innovation

Our review of our most popular tips continues today with a look at the relationship between innovation and customer loyalty. To

775 Boost email open rates by 152 percent

Use your customers’ behavior to your advantage.

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.
Read the article

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.

005 - Leo Laporte: Man on a Mission

The founder of TWiT is taking on the Goliaths of mainstream media with a lean, mean cutting-edge netcasting network that is red

October 2014
By Jeremy Girard

Four Ways to Delight – Not Annoy – Visitors With the Element of Surprise

As Apple discovered with its recent U2 album giveaway, not every surprise is a welcome one. Here’s how to ensure that your efforts to wow your customers with unexpected value will leave them wanting more.
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Four Ways to Delight – Not Annoy – Visitors With the Element of Surprise

During its most recent keynote event, Apple announced that it had a surprise in store for their customers: every iTunes accountholder in 119 countries would receive a free copy of U2’s latest album “Songs of Innocence.” This giveaway translated into over half a billion albums given away, representing the largest release in history in a deal that is speculated to have cost Apple $100 million dollars. U2-AppleIt would be easy to assume that Apple’s customers would be thrilled by this generous gesture. While many certainly were, there was also a very vocal segment who were not so pleased to see this album suddenly appear in their music collection. Many of these naysayers took to social media to express their concerns, which were centered not as much on the album itself but rather on the way that its delivery had been handled. While Apple undoubtedly thought that they were providing a convenience by automatically pushing the album out to all iTunes accounts, in doing so, they took away the customer’s ability to choose whether or not they wanted to receive this gift. What was meant to be a nice surprise came across as an act of overstepping the bounds of privacy for some customers – definitely not what Apple was hoping for when they conceived this promotion. Employing the element of surprise in marketing and in web design is tricky business. When done right, it can delight your customers, but if handled incorrectly – as with the Apple giveaway – it has the potential to frustrate and alienate them instead. Let’s take a look at four ways to use the unexpected to make a favorable impression on your website visitors and leave them wanting more – and the pitfalls to avoid along the way.

Surprise! Here’s a free gift!

Freebies have long been a staple of marketing and promotion. From product sampling to contests to incentives for joining a mailing list or sharing contact information, they are an effective way to break the ice when building relationships with new customers. There’s nothing wrong with a good giveaway – as long as you obey the fundamental rule of trustcasting, recognizing that all promotional efforts must be founded first and foremost in building trust with your customers and website visitors. As we touched on above, the problem with Apple’s U2 album promotion had nothing to do with the giveaway itself but rather with its delivery. Permission is a key element of trust-based marketing, and Apple’s circumvention of the act of permission seeking was perceived as a violation of trust by some iTunes customers. A direct contrast to this is MailChimp’s free t-shirt promotion. When a new customer opens a paid account and sends their first email campaign, they receive a message of congratulations along with the offer of a free t-shirt. In order to receive the t-shirt, however, the customer must select the size they would like, thereby accepting the offer; the shirt doesn’t simply turn up unexpectedly in their mailbox. Mailchimp Of course, we have no way of knowing how many people actually decline this free gift, but regardless of whether it’s zero percent or fifty, the most important aspect is the respect for the customer demonstrated by the act of seeking permission. MailChimp allows the customer to maintain a sense of control over the transaction rather than removing that control the way that Apple did. As this comparison shows, permission is a make-or-break element between a surprise that delights and one that compromises trust and goodwill.

Surprise! You’ve got mail!

Email is definitely an area of online marketing that’s fraught with pitfalls. You can be a welcome presence in your customers’ inboxes, or you can be a nuisance that’s banished to the junk mail heap. One way to practically guarantee that you’ll end up in the latter category is by “surprising” your customers with a flood of emails that they did not expect to receive. Undoubtedly, you’ve experienced this scenario at some point: you make a purchase from a website or register for an account, and all of a sudden your inbox is overrun with promotional emails from that company trying to get you to come back to their site and buy, buy, buy. Make no mistake: the simple act of placing an order is not an invitation to unleash a deluge of spammy messages. Again, returning to the theme of permission, the first step to ensuring that your emails are welcome is by allowing your customers to explicitly request to receive them. A common way to accomplish this is by including a mailing list opt-in on your site’s checkout form accompanied by a message affirming that the customer wishes to receive updates with special offers and future promotions. In and of itself, this is a fine practice. If someone wants this information, allow them to receive it! The problem is that many companies have this option selected by default, and as a result, in their rush to complete their transaction, many customers will overlook this feature entirely and will unwittingly opt in to the series of emails that will follow. Again, this is an unpleasant surprise that does not contribute to improving the customer’s perception of your brand. If you are going to employ a mailing list opt-in checkbox anywhere on your site, make sure that it’s unchecked by default and that customers must actually see, read and make a conscious effort to elect to receive ongoing communication from you. Your mailing list won’t grow as quickly this way, but you will avoid surprising unwitting subscribers with emails that they did not expect or want. But obtaining permission to send these emails is only half the story. You also need to make sure that the content of your messages is designed to delight. Anything that is purely self-promotional in nature will be regarded as nothing more than an annoyance. You must use your carefully garnered inbox privileges to provide value to your customers – whether that comes in the form of special offers, fun promotions, reminders about upcoming events or just plain useful information. Your focus should be on crafting email campaigns that leave your customers looking forward to seeing what you’ll send next – not hitting the “spam” button as soon as it lands.

Surprise! Let’s watch a video!

Video content is a great way to engage with visitors to your website. As much as we writer types are loathe to admit it, people don’t like to read. They like to look at pretty pictures, and even more, they like to be entertained by videos. If you can create compelling videos – whether they demonstrate your products, offer helpful tips or are just flat-out amusing – your visitors will be delighted that you’ve gone the extra mile to give them the kind of content that they prefer rather than forcing them to wade through page after page of written text, and you’ll be head and shoulders above your competition. But there’s one important caveat to video content: never, ever, ever set your videos to auto-play on your site. Uncued audio, video, animations and pop-ups are completely taboo in modern website design, and if you use them, you’ll provide an unpleasant surprise that sends visitors scrambling for the back button to get away from this sensory onslaught. Don’t insult the intelligence of your visitors by forcing content upon them. It’s the online equivalent of having a pushy salesman pounce on them the minute they walk in the door and hound them into looking at products or services that may not be relevant to their interests at all. Instead, provide contextual clues on the page that indicate what your video is about, and allow your visitors to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to view it. This removes the element of unwelcome surprise without eliminating the value of the video content itself.

Surprise! We’ve made changes to our website!

Inevitably, there will come a time when it’s necessary to make changes to your website. These changes could be as minor as adding new types of products or services or as significant as a complete redesign. The problem comes when regular visitors return to your site expecting one thing (the site that they have become familiar and comfortable with) but receive something else instead (the new site). Of course, it goes without saying that any changes you make to your site should be driven by the objective of creating a better experience for your users. Make sure you carry this objective through to the launch of your new site or its new features by smoothing the transition for your regular visitors. After all, every website comes with an inherent learning curve. If you’ve done your job right, that learning curve should not be very steep; yet, it will still exist as visitors determine where they need to go and what they need to do to accomplish their goals. Therefore, when you make a change, you can ensure that it’s well received by visitors simply by alerting them to these changes and guiding them through the process of navigating them. One example of how to execute a re-launch right is Citizens Bank. Weeks before the release of their new site, they posted a message on their existing home page announcing that changes were ahead and signaling the date when the newly overhauled site would launch. They also offered a preview of the new site complete with an overview of new features and instructions for where to find commonly used tools. Did every customer see this message and take the tour? Of course not, but many did, and as a result, they were not taken aback by a jarring surprise on the day of the new site’s launch. Instead, they were already acclimated to the new features and functions, thereby maintaining a sense of certainty and control throughout the transition process. By demonstrating to their customers that their needs and desires were an important consideration in the bank’s plans for their new site, Citizens Bank was able to create a positive experience out of their redesign and avoid the potentially hazardous pitfall of forcing their customers to stumble unassisted through the process of re-learning how to use their site.

In summary

Going above and beyond to provide customers with unexpected value can be a powerful way to separate yourself from the competition, but if done incorrectly, it can also backfire in a big way. In the case of Apple, the company had to release a tool to allow customers to remove the free U2 album that they had been gifted – something they clearly did not foresee as necessary when they conceived the promotion. When you are considering how to implement the element of surprise in your marketing and website design plans, remember never to lose sight of your customers and their needs. Always ask their permission, keep the power in their hands and allow them to remain in control of the process as much as possible so that your surprise will be welcomed with delight and satisfaction.