Brand Fuel is a branded merch agency for those willing to zig when others zag.
Because anything less is just another day at the office.
We remember the days when return on investment meant doing something we’d never forget. Like the days when we tapped our toes on the gymnasium floor and wondered, hoped, and prayed the smile coming from the shy face across the room was an invitation. So, we walked over to find out. We remember when doing something worthwhile meant making a move, taking a stand, and living, learning, fighting toward a dream. We remember being young and daring and because we remember, we haven’t yet grown all the way up. Of course, we’re business types now. We have checkbooks to balance, mortgages to pay, and some of us even have kids who will soon conceal a wild heart under a gifted corsage. But at Brand Fuel, we refuse to surrender sight of the days when a memory was a win and a “yes,” and success was an impenetrable moat surrounding a 6-foot sand castle.
That’s why we’ve built a company dead set on helping you create an eXperience.
We know it’s emotion that drives decisions—the meaningful ones—and it’s bold strides that elicit the strongest rewards.
We set out each day to unite all of the senses and forge a feeling your audience can never forget. We can do the simple, the routine. We can keep standing over here, tapping our toes to the rhythm in the floorboards waiting, or we can set out, together, and chase ideas that defy ordinary and inspire.
We aim this high every day because we think the world’s already got enough people out there striving to just get by. Sure, the music has changed over the years, as we have. Our own corsages were long ago replaced with sweaty Ramones t-shirts and torn jeans, outfits that now hide in attics above pink rooms full of stuffed animals and giggling kids. Yeah, we’ve matured, honed the vision. But we fight to remember. Each day we cling to the replica rolex notion that making something great, something that lasts, starts with the warm spark of emotion.
Come be brave with us and make tomorrow nothing like today. It’s time to do something worth remembering.
–The Brand Fuel Team
Why a Rocket?
The rocket does not represent space or aliens or even the facsimile of your garden-variety rocket.
Rather, our rocket represents exploration, discovery, progressiveness, adaptability — particularly in stressful scenarios, being brave, intelligence, launching something new, and embracing a challenge.
Where It All Began
It was February 1998. We were just four sweaty guys in a small office next to a Domino’s. We shared a “community” computer and ate a lot of pizza. Our first piece of marketing collateral was a photo of the four of us hanging off of the second-story banister. On the back of the photo, we printed a “5% off of first order” coupon and suggested customers “HANG with us for all of their promotional product needs." That stunt garnered some buzz but netted only a couple of orders.
In that cramped space, we listened to a boom box filled with Ramones, Elvis, CCR, and Link Wray. We all answered phones and took handwritten messages on pink “While You Were Out” pads. We got excited when we placed an animated .gif on our website.
Our “Fulfillment Center” was in a cramped A-frame attic and we delivered orders from our first online store in person because we were too cheap to set up a UPS account. We pulled seventy-hour work weeks and rarely took vacations. We were then, as we are now, very committed.
As business increased, we found ourselves moving five times in the first seven years to accommodate growth. And then we expanded into Virginia, one of our most challenging and rewarding decisions yet. And then, South Carolina. And Massachusetts. And the UK and The Phillippines!
It seems as if our baby is “all growed up” when we look back at what was, but we fully recognize that we have a tremendous opportunity to be so much more. And that is what still excites us. That and the fact that we have never lost our desire to enjoy and to nurture the foundation of Brand Fuel.
The pledge we made on Day One, to make our 38+ years of friendship the basis for our shared career vision has not wavered. Yes, we are prideful about beating the partnership odds, our showrooms that feature national awards, our very talented staff, and about the difference we have made in giving back to the communities in which we serve.
After more than 25 years (!!), we are still fueling our clients’ amazing brands, challenging them to take roads less traveled with a focus on sustainability as inspired by our B Corp certification, and, well, Elvis still plays in our offices. We have a lot of people to thank including our families, our talented employees and of course, you. We very much realize our success is possible in large part because of your support.
Thank you, thank you very much!