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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.

358 The 5 building blocks of community ecosystems: Sharing

The ability to share things that matter with others who have a common passion for those things is the glue that binds a community together.

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.


June 2016
By Jeremy Girard

Small Changes, Big Impact: 5 Things You Can (and Should!) Do Today to Boost Your Website’s Performance

There’s no time like the present to implement these quick fixes and reap the rewards for months to come.
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Small Changes, Big Impact: 5 Things You Can (and Should!) Do Today to Boost Your Website’s Performance

artice-smallchanges-lg Every spring it happens like clockwork: the temperatures get warmer, the days get longer and everything in nature becomes more vibrant and colorful. Along with these changes in the great outdoors comes the irresistible urge to clean house and embrace a fresh start. Why not keep that motivational momentum going and apply it to your business – and, more specifically, to your website – as well? After all, there’s no time like the present to sweep away the old and outdated and bring in fresh new ideas and technologies. But you don’t necessarily need to dive head-first into a full redesign and all of the time and expense that entails to reap measurable results. Instead, here are five small steps you can – and should! – take today to ensure that your site is up-to-date, relevant and doing all it can to bring you new customers and grow the community around your brand:

1. Reposition your contact form.

For most website owners – especially those in service-based businesses such as law, accounting, consulting, real estate, etc. – the key “win” for their site is when it motivates a visitor to request more information or schedule a meeting. Contact forms are a ubiquitous website staple intended to provide a convenient – and highly measurable – avenue to initiate communication between an interested prospect and a company. However, perhaps because they are so commonplace, all too often these forms are given little strategic thought, resulting in a cookie-cutter name/email address/phone number format that yields more bogus spam submissions than legitimate new business opportunities. However, there is one simple change you can make that has been shown to get better results: reposition your standard “Contact us” form as an “Ask our experts” feature. By doing so, you shift the focus of the form to providing your visitors with an opportunity to submit a question that is specific to their needs and concerns. Rather than feeling like they are opening themselves up to an endless barrage of solicitation calls and emails, your visitors will sense that they are initiating a dialogue with an expert who will help them solve their particular problem. Make sure to respond to all inquiries within 24 hours, provide helpful advice that is free of charge and tailored to your prospect’s situation, and leave the door open to continue the conversation in a future meeting or phone call. By doing so, you will establish an important foundation of trust and confidence with your potential new client that will make them more inclined to engage your professional services. expert I have personally seen the submission rates on these types of forms increase dramatically. On one site where this small change was implemented, form submissions jumped from one or two per week to one or two per day – all legitimate business opportunities that were sparked simply by repositioning the focus of the form.

2. Productize your offering.

Another challenge that professional services organizations face in creating a website that works as an effective customer conversion engine is that they do not sell a specific product but rather a suite of services that can be customized to each client’s specific needs. This makes it terribly hard to market to visitors who come to their site and simply want to know “What exactly does this company sell, and how much does it cost?”. Because there are so many variables to the company’s offerings, there is not a quick and easy answer to these questions. If this challenge sounds familiar to you, one approach you can try is to “productize” what you have to offer. Create a bundle of services with a fixed price, and market that package on your site in a simple, straightforward manner that makes your offering easy to understand and helps visitors feel like doing business with your company is as simple as buying a product off the shelf at a store. package This is exactly what my company did with some of the technology consulting services that we offer. Instead of only listing the array of services we provide, we also created a product that representing a very specific offering. This made it so much easier to answer the “What do you sell?” question, and it gave us something tangible to promote in our marketing campaigns. In reality, this approach in no way limited the range of services we are able to offer our clients; rather, it merely served as a vehicle to open doors to new opportunities and made it easier to start conversations with new customers for whom we could ultimately provide a custom-tailored solution. Examine the services that you offer, and work with your marketing team to create an appealing package that you can market – understanding all the while that this “product” is really just a means for you to connect with customers and begin the sales process with something tangible that they can easily understand.

3. Lose your home page carousel.

One simple change that I have seen many websites make in the past year or so is to remove animated image carousels from their home pages. These carousels have long been a popular fixture of website design, but the reality is that they can sometimes do more harm than good. Home page carousels typically feature giant, screen-spanning images which carry with them heavy download requirements both for the images and for the scripts that power the animation sequences, thereby creating a potential stumbling block in performance for users on mobile devices or with slower connections. Additionally, studies have shown that click-through rates on animated carousels are extremely low, and they drop significantly from the first slide to the subsequent ones. This is why many companies are replacing rotating carousels with a singular static message instead. This one change can greatly reduce a page’s download size (when my company did this on our home page, its file size decreased by 75 percent) while having little to no effect on actual user engagement or click-through. In fact, because the page now loads more quickly, many sites actually see an uptick in user engagement because fewer people are abandoning a site due to poor performance. image Do you have a carousel on your website? If so, do you know whether or not it is working well for you? Your marketing team may be able to do some A/B testing between a version of your site with this animation feature and one without it to see which performs better. Since carousels do work well for some sites (like news organizations or sites with lots of frequently updated content), having this data can help you determine whether or not it’s time to ditch the carousel.

4. Update your image(s).

Stock photography is something of a necessary evil of website design, as more often than not, companies don’t have the budget to execute a full-fledged custom professional photo shoot. However, not all stock images are created equal. Stock photos that are overused or that look so obviously staged that they scream of their “stockiness” can cheapen a site’s design and leave visitors with a negative overall impression of the site. Replacing those images can make a big difference in a site’s visual appeal. If your site’s imagery is stale, you can make some simple image swaps to freshen it up. If you are going to change out old stock images for new stock images, make sure to seek out photos that feel fresh and that are not terribly overused (most stock photo sites will tell you how many times an image has been downloaded). An even better option is to try to add some unique imagery to your site. This could be photographs that you hire a professional to take or – in keeping with one of this year’s hottest trends – custom illustrations that you commission from an artist. illustration If your budget is tight, incorporating even just one or two such one-of-a-kind images in key spots on your site can really boost its visual impact. For instance, if you lose that aforementioned carousel on the home page and replace it with one truly compelling static image and message, it can make a really powerful first impression on your visitors.

5. Publish less.

Most experts agree that publishing original, value-add content on your site on a regular basis is key to optimizing its success – both from a sales and marketing standpoint and as an advantage in the never-ending battle of SEO. While I agree with this approach in principal, for many companies, the drive to publish regularly has resulted in putting out mediocre content simply to meet an inflexible standard of frequency. This is often an entirely counterproductive effort, as content that lacks in quality, original thought or value for the reader reflects poorly on the organization and its perceived level of expertise. Publishing original content to your site on a regular basis is still a best practice, but that content must offer value for it to succeed. Let’s say a visitor comes to your site and is impressed to find that you publish new articles weekly or monthly; however, once they click through the headline to see what they can glean from your writing, if what they find is mediocre at best, what motivation do they have to return to your site again in the future, let alone entrust you with their hard-earned dollars? If, on the other hand, you publish new content less frequently, but everything you produce is of the highest quality, then that same visitor will know that the time they spend on your site will always be worth their while, and they will look forward to the next time you post something new. Re-examine your current content marketing strategy, and ask yourself whether you are focused on quality or frequency. If it’s the latter, commit instead to writing less but to improving the quality of what you offer on your site. While this change may not have an immediate impact, it will absolutely yield long-term results that your visitors will appreciate and respond positively to.

In closing

Eventually, your website will need a redesign, but in the meantime you can make small, strategic, surgical changes that will pay immediate dividends in your site’s success. This approach of implementing gradual but regular modifications will also benefit you when it does come time for that full redesign. By making intelligent improvements over time, you will ultimately be closer to your end goal, leaving less to accomplish with the redesign and thereby paving the way for a smoother and less costly project.
November 2015
By Jeremy Girard

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

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

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

Customer-centric marketing is still marketing.

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

Stay true to your ideals.

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

Make the hard decisions.

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

Do the opposite of your competition.

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

Tell the world.

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

Have a plan.

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

In summary

REI took a bold stand in their efforts to break away from what every other retailer is doing with their Black Friday promotions. Instead of fighting for attention on that crazy shopping day, they have decided to take a different route. Because they stayed true to their ideals, made some tough decisions, and were unafraid to shake things up and be different, they are the store that people are talking about leading up to Black Friday, which is interesting since they are the only ones who will be closed that day.
December 2013
By Carey Arvin

Naughty or Nice?

Have you been a good marketer this year, or will you be receiving a lump of coal from your customers?
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Naughty or Nice?

If you’re guilty of committing these marketing no-nos, you may well be receiving a lump of coal from your customers this year.

Making constant demands of your customers

All too often, marketers act like petulant children, making incessant demands of their customers without providing any real service or value in return. “Buy now!” “Call today!” “Read this email!” “Share this on Facebook!” All your customers hear is, “Me! Me! Me! Give me what I want right now!” And what’s their reaction to such self-interested yapping? At best, it's a collective yawn; at worst, a complete tune-out. So what should you do instead? Fame Foundry friend Gary Vaynerchuk suggests hitting your customers in the face. Wait…let us explain. You see, about once a week, Vaynerchuk poses this question on Twitter to his one million followers: “Is there anything I can do for you?” And he does mean it literally. For example, when one of his followers in Canada wrote “Just ran out of Tabasco,” Vaynerchuk overnighted eight bottles. Tabasco Image via Warren Weeks When another in Minnesota responded with a request for a cheeseburger, he opened the door the next day to find a delicious cheeseburger hand-delivered from one of his favorite restaurants. So what’s in all of this concierge-like servitude for Gary? It’s part of an approach that the always-colorful Vaynerchuk calls “jab, jab, jab, right hook” (which is also the name of his latest book) According to Vaynerchuk, a jab is anything of value — a joke, an idea, an introduction, and yes, even a meal. After he delivers a few jabs, he can then justifiably hit you with a right hook: a request to buy something. In other words, “jab, jab, jab, right hook” means “give, give, give, ask.” Note the emphasis on giving. You must give first and give generously before you ever ask for anything in return from your customers and prospects. As he explains in the book, “Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.” It’s a philosophy as simple as it is effective: put your customers first, and they’ll return the favor. As Vaynerchuk says, “If you’re in business, first and foremost, you have to be nice. Show your customers that you care.”

Insulting our intelligence

It’s 2013. We’ve all seen more than our fair share of advertising. We all have the Internet. So stop insulting our intelligence with your “candid interviews” and “medical experts.” After all, how many mornings have you found yourself leisurely chatting about the joys of breakfast cereal with an unseen interviewer? And, Post Foods, you really cannot be serious with this! Nobody’s buying it, and nobody wants to buy products from companies that don’t respect our ability to discern fact from fiction. If you want to engage with us, authenticity is the only way to get (and hold) our attention.

Playing to dirty motivations

Pep Image via Amusing Planet This one is something of a corollary to insulting our intelligence. We all know that sex sells. We all want to be thinner, richer and more attractive. But we’re also savvy enough to recognize when we’re being manipulated by marketers. Take this ad for the Dodge Big Finish Event, which ends with a keeping-up-with-the-Jonses challenge: “Let’s see the neighbors compete with that!” Is that really the best selling point you have, Dodge? Similarly, this spot implies that the secret to unlocking popularity, confidence, masculinity and sex appeal is the keys to an Audi. If you really want me to drop upwards of $80k on a car, you’re going to need to do better than that. Educate your customers. Show them how your products and services will make their lives better, easier, more efficient or even more fun in a real way. Not in an aspirational, wink-wink, don’t-we-all-want-to-be-Kardashians way.

Committing a blatant money-grabbing maneuver

Contrary to the unforgettable line uttered by the infamous Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street, greed is not good. While customers don’t begrudge any company the need to turn a profit, when they smell a blatant money-grabbing maneuver, they’ll quickly blow the whistle. For several years now, major retailers have been attempting to get a jump on Black Friday spending by opening on Thanksgiving day – a move that has been viewed by many as a morally questionable practice of allowing consumerism to encroach on one of our nation’s most revered holidays. This year, however, Kmart took a giant leap over the line of good judgment when they announced that they would open at 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving day and remain open for 41 consecutive hours. The public backlash was swift and sharp. Within hours of the announcement, hundreds of Kmart customers took to social media and threatened to boycott the store if it didn't reverse its decision so that its employees could spend Thanksgiving with their families. People called the decision "heartless," "greedy," "shameful" and "disgusting." Kmart Image via The Huffington Post "Shame on you, Kmart. I will never set foot in any of your stores again," wrote one now former customer on the company’s Facebook page. "I have family members that work in retail, and because of greedy retailers like you will not be able to spend the day with us." Another added: “Maybe Kmart should have shown they are thankful for their loyal employees and let them be with their families on Thanksgiving. I realize you are a corporation, and your goal is to make money...but sometimes you need to show and prove that people are important, too." So what lessons can you take away from Kmart’s Thanksgiving PR travesty? In your quest to own your market, always proceed with caution. Today’s consumers are not only smart but selective; they shop with their heads and their hearts. They want to deal with companies that demonstrate their dedication to serving the best interests of both their customers and their employees. They won’t trust their business to those whose only master is the all-mighty dollar, so make sure you always err on the side of ethics and in everything that you do, prove that it’s you who exists to serve the needs of your customers, not the other way around.