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.

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.
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582 Snails and smurfs and planes - oh my!

The production houses powering this year's midsummer kid flicks are as big as they come, but all the brand recognition in the world hasn't been enough to overcome an oversaturated market.

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.
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775 Boost email open rates by 152 percent

Use your customers’ behavior to your advantage.

September 2013
By Blaine Howard

Mistrustcasting: A Tale of Two Brands

Gone are the days when your brand could be defined by meticulously crafted marketing messages. Today’s consumers want to do business with companies whose practices measure up to their promises.
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Mistrustcasting: A Tale of Two Brands

One day recently, a high school math class decided to conduct an experiment to ascertain whether Oreo’s Double Stuf cookies actually contain twice the “stuf” – crème filling – as implied by the treat’s name.

The class’s work yielded the faintly damning discovery that the Double Stuf contain only 1.86 more filling than the original incarnation – a shortage of 7 percent. Hardly headline-making news, right? After all, most folks would agree that it’s close enough and simply applaud the teacher’s creative, hand-on approach to this classroom exercise.

And that’s where Oreo should have left it, but they chose not to. Instead, when contacted about the matter by Business Insider, the company issued a formal statement claiming the math class had reached an inaccurate total and that their Double Stuf recipe does indeed include fully twice the amount of filling. So Business Insider put together its own experiment, which came down in favor of the math class.

Oreo’s response made this story bigger than it needed to be, and as a result, the brand’s overall reputation took a hit. After all, if they felt the need to lie about 7 percent of their filling, what else might they be hiding? The cookie controversy served up good fodder for a few days of news bites and morning drive-time humor, but given the public’s lasting love for Oreo, the Double Stuf kerfuffle blew over in short order.

More than filler

The Double Stuf debacle is an entertaining – if relatively innocuous – example of just how easily the integrity of even the most well-known brands can be called into question. That’s why the task of building and maintaining trust in your brand is such serious business. For more evidence, let’s take a closer look at BP and SC Johnson, two huge corporations with very different approaches to brand integrity – and very different reputations.

Both companies deal in products under close scrutiny in today’s increasingly green-minded business and marketing environments. BP is the world’s sixth largest petroleum fuel interest, and SC Johnson is one of the world’s largest producers of household cleaners.

If you look at their advertising and PR, both companies use strikingly similar language, which is logical, given that each company has a vested interest in portraying itself as environmentally responsible and forward-thinking.

But the court of public opinion tells a very different story, making it clear that their efforts to define themselves are yielding drastically different results.

BP’s big problem

More than three years after the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is still dealing with the aftermath on many fronts. In addition to the illegal practices which led to the spill, the company has been found guilty of felony for lying in its response to the disaster and has paid out more than $42 billion in clean-up costs, settlements and fines.


BP was found to have engaged in multiple deceptions before, during and after the spill. The company repeatedly refused to disclose accurate or timely information for months after the disaster, which resulted in a far greater impact on the environment than would have happened if the company would have been immediately forthcoming.

A visit to BP’s website shows that the spill still dominates much of the company’s PR efforts. That’s as it should be.

But even as BP touts its gulf clean-up efforts in carefully crafted feature articles, it releases defensive statements whenever its efforts and motives are called into question. For example, in a statement dated August 28, BP responds to recent allegations by the state of Louisiana claiming that BP has not adequately addressed the clean up. Here’s the money quote that leads the statement: "Any suggestion that BP has failed to address the clean up of the Louisiana coastline is both false and irresponsible.”

No acknowledgement of BP’s responsibility, no conciliatory tone indicating that BP is committed to repairing the damage it caused, no apology for all of the suffering. Just a hardline defense, with copy that reads like it was drafted by a stereotypical Hollywood lawyer. This antagonistic tone is at odds with the shiny, happy stories that appear throughout the special section of its site dedicated to the Gulf of Mexico restoration.

This stark discrepancy between rosy PR fluff pieces and sharp legal statements defines the very heart of BP’s brand integrity issue. This is a company whose practices are squarely at odds with the public image it attempts to project.


Start with the logo

Petroleum is hardly a “clean” business; the best any oil company can offer is diligent safety practices and commitment to mitigating its environmental impact.

When BP debuted its green sun logo in 2001, the flowery “helios” mark, it was a clear effort to position the brand as somehow “cleaner” and more environmentally conscious than its competitors. The green sun implies a very different focus than, say, an oil derrick looming over a seascape. Yet in the decade plus since its logo shift, BP has actually decreased its efforts in the arena of solar power, finally announcing plans to shutter them altogether in 2011.

The fact remains that BP is first and foremost an oil concern, with all the environmental risks that such companies encounter. Until BP’s research spending on alternative fuels exceeds the 50 percent mark, that logo is a blatant lie.

Follow the money

Many brands seeking to build trust with the public establish charitable foundations or make contributions to causes. With its image in desperate need of a reboot, BP has made significant donations to gulf cleanup efforts and regional charities that focus on hunger and housing. These are all high-profile, press-release-ready efforts.

It’s certainly better than nothing, and BP does seem to grasp the idea that it needs to spend big to show its concern.

But you won’t find much in the way of marine environmental research on BP’s books or any slowdown whatsoever in the company’s high-risk deepwater drilling projects. No, right along with its more environmentally friendly efforts like wind and biofuels, BP is still using the lion’s share of its research dollars to pursue the same kind of risky drilling that damaged the Gulf of Mexico so dramatically.

As John Bell writes in Forbes Magazine, “BP’s talk about caring for the environment was for naught, as its actions failed to match its message.” Small wonder that a site like boycottbp.com is still growing strong. Or that the brand ranked at number seven in MarketWatch’s 2013 poll of companies with the worst reputations.

SC Johnson’s evolving transparency

While SC Johnson certainly faces environmental concerns, it does have an inherent advantage over a company like BP. After all, a Gulf-scale tragedy is highly unlikely in the arena of household cleaners.


But this field carries its own set of risks. Many of SC Johnson’s products – insect repellents, cleaners and baby shampoo, to name a few – are used by families on a daily basis. And in the last decade, concerns have increased about how these types of products impact not only the health of customers but the greater environment as a whole.

In large part, SC Johnson has responded to such concerns with a careful trust-building approach that includes admission of mistakes and a proactive willingness to change corporate policy and behavior. While there have been a few bumps in the road, even their response to setbacks has been characterized by a tone that emphasizes responsibility over defensiveness.


Open policies

One major area of concern with consumers about household products is the ingredients. Many cleaners and air fresheners tout a natural, organic identity while their labels contain a long list of unpronounceable components unfamiliar to anyone lacking a degree in chemical engineering. In an effort to counteract this, SC Johnson launched its "What’s Inside SC Johnson" website in early 2009, where it has published complete ingredients lists for almost all of its products.

However, the company’s track record is not perfect. Its “Greenlist” label, featured on Windex and other products SC Johnson claimed passed its highest environmental standards, was the subject of several consumer-advocate lawsuits. Because the label closely resembled other third-party designations for independently vetted products, the suits rightly called into question the legitimacy of SC Johnson practice of promoting its own – potentially misleading – self-proclaimed green standard.

Response to criticism

One of the ways in which SC Johnson has been most successful in upholding the integrity of its brand is in its response to controversy. The company trades heavily on its identity as a family-owned business, something that can be difficult to buy given its global scope and multi-billion-dollar annual sales numbers. But when issues arise, it is not a corporate lawyer that does the talking for SC Johnson; it’s Fisk Johnson, CEO and true blood family representative.

In the case of the Greenlist issue, Johnson reiterated the company’s commitment to the environment, but admitted its misstep. “When you're out in front of an issue like this, it means that you're not always going to get it completely right, as was the case with this particular issue," he said.

SC Johnson has also demonstrated a willingness to change its formulas and policies ahead of any legal mandate – and also ahead of many competitors. The company has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 42 percent since 2000, and it has installed two wind turbines at its largest global manufacturing facility, enabling that facility to produce most of its electrical energy onsite.

Integrity gets results

All of this earnest effort is certainly paying off for SC Johnson. In 2012, the United Nations Foundation for Social Change honored the company as a global Leader of Change, and in 2013, the company received an EPA Climate Leadership Award for Aggressive Goal Setting.

SC Johnson’s mix of staying true to its family roots, increasing transparency with customers and demonstrating a willingness to change combines to reinforce its reputation as a brand that operates with integrity. While the company isn’t perfect, its actions maintain consistency with its image. By any measure of consumer confidence, that’s a powerful – and to borrow from BP’s ill-used lexicon – sustainable strategy.

November 2013
By Natalie Lynn Borton

Guest Blogging 101 (Or How to Grow Your Audience by Giving Away Your Best Material)

When you’re in the process of trying to cultivate a fledgling handful of followers into a thriving community of dedicated readers, one of the best ways to do so is by writing fantastic posts for other blogs with well-established audiences.
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Guest Blogging 101 (Or How to Grow Your Audience by Giving Away Your Best Material)

Growing community and conversation around your brand is no easy feat; it requires dedication, focused effort and time. In addition to creating a platform that’s easy to navigate and top-notch content that drives engagement, you must constantly promote yourself to raise awareness and bring fresh eyes to your material. As counter-intuitive as it might sound, when you’re in the process of trying to grow a fledgling handful of followers into a thriving community of dedicated readers, one of the best ways to do so is by giving away your best posts. Why? Because in building relationships with bloggers who have already developed a community of followers whose interests overlap with your area of expertise, you can gain exposure to new readers who will then hopefully take an interest in hearing more of what you have to say. As a blogger myself, I've done this firsthand through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and strategic guest blogging opportunities. Though a bit intimidating at first, reaching out to bloggers I admire who cover similar topics has yielded valuable guest blogging opportunities that have helped me to steadily increase my reach and gain new readers for my own blog. Based on that experience, here are five secrets to success in scoring great guest blogging gigs that will help you grow your audience:

1. Know your niche.

What topics do you cover? How often do you post? What are your visitor stats? Who is your ideal reader? You need to have a strong grasp of these things so you can identify the right bloggers to connect with whose audience will most closely align with your own. It’s also important to make sure that somewhere on your site – whether it’s in the sidebar of your blog or on your about page – you have an introduction that’s crafted to quickly and succinctly orient new readers to your community. Focus on the reader’s interests by briefly explaining who you are, what topics you cover and what qualifies you as an authority in your niche. Point them to your most popular posts and invite them to subscribe to your content. And don’t forget to include a way for them to get in touch with you to pave the way for conversion from causal reader to paying customer.

2. Do your research.

You don't want to connect with just anybody out there with their own platform; you want to be strategic with the relationships you build. As a creator of content, you likely read quite a few blogs yourself. What are they? Do they cover similar topics? Is their demographic the same as yours in any way? It may be helpful to make a spreadsheet with these details, along with contact information to make your life a little easier when it comes time to reach out.

3. Become a prolific commenter.

By commenting, I mean both on your own blog in response to comments from your readers and also on blogs that you regularly read and follow. The blogging world is all about connection, community and driving conversation. If you stay silent, you’ll cut yourself off from opportunities to cultivate a more deeply engaged reader base. Although it may be impossible or impractical to reply to every single comment on every single blog post you write, you should make a habit of checking the comments section and replying to readers directly. Better yet, see if your platform has a tool that will alert you by email whenever you receive a new comment so that you can reply quickly and boost the chances of keeping the conversation going. When commenting on another author’s blog post, be sure to leave a thoughtful response. Avoid generic feedback like, “great post,” and opt instead for noting what what you found uniquely insightful or inspiring about the post, asking a question that provokes further debate and discussion or even answering a question the writer might have posed within the post itself. By doing so, you not only contribute in meaningful way to their community, but you also encourage them to check out your own blog as well.

4. Make a pitch.

Once you’ve acclimated to interacting with other bloggers and have a strong grasp of blogs that are aligned with your own blog’s niche, it’s time to reach out and make a pitch. By now, you should be very familiar with the content on the blogs you’ll be pitching to—what topics they cover, what they’ve written about recently, who runs the blog, etc. Not sure where to go from there? Here are some suggestions for crafting your message:
  • Employ a tone that’s personal and friendly while keeping your request brief (no more than two paragraphs).
  • Reference some of their recent posts so they can see that you are a real follower of theirs and you’re not just sending out the same pitch en masse to anybody with a blog.
  • Provide links to your blog, portfolio and social media profiles to help them get a feel for your expertise, writing abilities and point of view.
  • Be specific about what you’d like to write about, whether it’s a certain topic where you have expert advice to give or a series they’re doing where you can offer valuable insight.
  • Follow up if you don’t hear back, allowing a week or so to make sure they’ve had time to review and process your request.

5. Become a contributor.

If you happen to have a little extra time on your hands, becoming a regular contributor on a high-traffic blog is a sure-fire way to connect with new readers who otherwise may not have found you. In addition to building your portfolio and legitimizing your expertise, being a contributor ensures major publicity for your content and exposure on a much broader level. Although developing an organic following will take some time, defining your blog’s niche, finding similar blogs to strategically connect with, engaging in the blog community through comments, pitching ideas to bloggers and contributing to high-traffic sites on a regular basis will help you develop valuable connections that will lure new readers to your blog. And when you feed these readers a steady diet of insightful, conversation-provoking content, you’ll find they’ll not only become a regular fixture in the burgeoning community that’s developing around your content and your brand, but that they’ll also become your allies in recruiting new members by sharing your great stuff within their own circles.