Sacunas owner changes company name
After two years, Adam Vasquez has decided to change the name of Sacunas Inc., a Harrisburg-based business-to-business marketing firm, to better reflect the company's national growth strategy, which has been attracting more consumer-focused brands.
The company's new name is Merit Marketing Inc.
"The Merit name more accurately aligns with who we are as a company," Vasquez, the company's president and CEO, said in a statement announcing the change. "Our clients are continually requesting us to place them at the center of their respective industries."
Along with the name change, the company will no longer work exclusively on a B2B basis, offering research, marketing and branding services. Merit, which has 34 employees, now has a mix of B2B and business-to-consumer, or B2C, clients.
"We believe we're inventing the next thing in marketing," said Vasquez, who has coined the term "market invention" to describe the company's combination of research and strategy with technology, customer experience, communications and creative services. "Everyone is focused on tactics, like social media, but they are missing the bigger picture. Marketers are supposed to invent new markets for businesses to grow and expand so they can transition and thrive."
The specific tactics are good to support the communications goal, he said, but there has to be an overall strategy to help those companies become market leaders.
With the broader shift to more consumer brands, there have been some recent staffing changes at Merit, Vasquez said. For example, government affairs work, which was under a so-called public experience practice created by the firm last year, is no longer a focus area.
"We realized the government business doesn't care about market invention. Government agencies don't really value our core competency," Vasquez said.
After creating a so-called public experience practice last year that included an expansion into government affairs work, he found that public-sector clients were not as receptive to change.
The company, whose clients includes New Holland, Peeps, Cardone Industries, Auntie Anne's, Five Below, Amtrak and animal cracker maker Stauffer's, recently moved its headquarters to Harrisburg. Merit also has offices in Chicago, Ill., and Portland, Ore.
Nancy Sacunas led the Dauphin County firm for nearly 25 years before selling to Vasquez in 2015.
Vasquez spent a good chunk of his early career as a client, hiring the firm for work on various global initiatives when he worked in leadership positions with publicly traded TE Connectivity Ltd. and Solera Holdings.
This story has been modified to include additional comments from Adam Vasquez.