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Sacunas owner changes company name

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Adam Vasquez is the president and CEO of Sacunas Inc., which has changed its name to Merit Marketing Inc.
Adam Vasquez is the president and CEO of Sacunas Inc., which has changed its name to Merit Marketing Inc. - (Photo / )

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.

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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.

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Jason Scott

Jason Scott

Jason Scott covers state government, real estate and construction, media and marketing, and Dauphin County. Have a tip or question for him? Email him at jscott@cpbj.com. Follow him on Twitter, @JScottJournal. Circle Jason Scott on .

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PixelPunisher July 18, 2017 10:54 am

Had to do it, Sacunas brand was damaged beyond recognition for years. Was the shop good talent went to die. Smoke and mirrors really with this studio. Guys been burying dollars in "acquisitions" to make press headlines but without Tyco their a dead fish with a very big office.

Their idea of "Market Invention" is cute but if you look at the work it's basically doing websites for brands that are nothing on the "invention" side.

AndrewR July 13, 2017 8:14 pm

Great to see. Heard through the grapevine that they have been taking key talent and winning legacy clients from other agencies in town.

AnnieO July 13, 2017 1:19 pm

Heard through the grapevine, a couple of months ago, that the company was struggling a bit. Now I wonder if this has something to do with that. The things that make you go hmmmmmm.

GaryE July 12, 2017 4:44 pm

The firm was originally founded by Carl Andrews and Eric Drake, who combined their separate firms and added Nancy Sacunas who headed up sales at Krone Graphics. The firm was launched as Andrews, Sacunas, Drake & Associates. Rick Drake left after a few years to relocate and Bob Saline came on as a partner and firm was renamed Andrews, Sacunas & Saline, Inc. Carl retired but his name remained since he was the big name, big reputation partner. Bob Saline struck out and formed PRWorks, Inc. Nancy Sacunas was then sole owner and renamed the firm accordingly. I was on board for a few years. The firm has changed a great deal over its life.

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