Today, Buzzhoney is a thriving, Pittsburgh-based digital marketing agency, devoted to creative design, impeccable strategy and measurable results. Our staff is chalk-full of artists, musicians, storytellers, foodies and savants. You can also find our kind in Boston and Austin (hey, that sort of rhymes) and we are pretty well known for our parties. That’s us in a nutshell, but you can’t sum up a company as dynamic as ours with one paragraph; we have our own story to tell.
I guess you can say that the story of our company doesn’t start with Buzzhoney at all. It starts with a company called Sladekutter, founded way back in 1996 by Chris Bannon. This was a strange year; the year when Tupac died and Alanis Morissette forgot the definition of the word “irony” (which was actually pretty ironic). It was the year when doctors cloned a sheep, Batman, for some reason, had nipples and Kevin Costner gave a breath-taking performance in Waterworld. Oh yeah, and who could forget the Macarena.
Sladekutter was one of the first Pittsburgh agencies to treat the web as new frontier. The goal was to help businesses and executives deal with this evolution. For a while, it was manifest destiny all over again; a digital land grab. Web sites and web development agencies were springing up like Old West boomtowns. Sladekutter got noticed by the “cattle barons” of the day and was subsequently bought by a larger agency. This isn’t a tale of some small company being gobbled up by the evil megacorps; it’s a tale of strategic planning. Bannon knew the dot-com bubble was about to burst, so he cashed in his chips and rode off into the sunset.
When the bubble burst there was anarchy in the streets; we’re talking overturned carts, baby’s crying, plague and famine. The company that bought Sladekutter folded, monopolies were busted and practices declared illegal. Web entrepreneurs had to settle for business class flights and lay off their gardeners. Droves of developers were reduced to standard shipping on their Amazon.com orders, some waiting days for their Harry Potter books to arrive. The days when all you needed was a website had come to an end. That’s when Buzzhoney was born.
New technologies, like ecommerce, were in high-demand and the need for intensive marketing strategies exploded. In the power vacuum that was left after the bubble burst, we were there to guide businesses and keep them up-to-date. After seeing what happens to agencies that can’t evolve, we have consistently stayed on top of emerging trends. After ecommerce came smartphones. Mobile apps and responsive design became game changers and we were there to lead the way. Now, in the midst of the social age, we help businesses maximize their marketing strategy. Between social apps, interest graph marketing and social merchandising, Buzzhoney has a long track record of producing the best marketing tools since those inflatable, wiggly-armed tube men.
You see, our evolution can’t be summed up with a cheesy cliché; it’s not about caterpillars turning into pretty, pretty butterflies or barbequed phoenixes rising from their own charred remains. It’s about identifying emerging trends before they happen and implementing the best strategy to capitalize on them. It’s about sharing your story and having that story passed on. It’s about constantly pioneering because, once you stop exploring new territory, you become just another settler. Don’t ever settle.