Acquisition, client demand fuel growth for Sacunas

Dauphin County B2B marketing firm recently bought Harrisburg-based Freefall

//May 11, 2016

Acquisition, client demand fuel growth for Sacunas

Dauphin County B2B marketing firm recently bought Harrisburg-based Freefall

//May 11, 2016

He’s two years ahead of schedule, he said.

With project demand picking up from global clients and the recent acquisition of  Freefall, a Harrisburg-based marketing agency that specializes in branding and digital services, Vasquez expects his Lower Paxton Township-based business-to-business marketing and branding agency will be operating with 35 full-time employees in the next two months.

The company had about eight full-time employees, plus contract staff that pushed the number to 18, when he bought it.

In five years, Vasquez said he envisions 500 employees across the globe. The Dauphin County firm is in the process of opening an office in Portland, Ore., to serve its West Coast clients.

And offices in Germany and China are likely coming in the next few years to support global clients, Vasquez said.

Many of the firm’s clients are East Coast companies that want to expand in Europe and around the world. They are mostly “ingredient brands” — companies in technology, manufacturing, transportation and logistics, building materials and health care.

Sacunas is tasked with getting major brands such as Apple or Boeing to buy its customers’ products.

Clients include TE Connectivity Ltd. and Solera Holdings, two of Vasquez’s former employers, as well as IMI and Cardone Industries.

The firm also is helping clients recruit engineers and developers, for example, who are often drawn to more recognizable consumer brands such as Google and Tesla. Better educating investors who might not understand these brands is another key piece, Vasquez said.

“Our job is to translate the unrelatable and make it relatable,” Vasquez said. “Clients really don’t hire us when they want the status quo. They usually want to disrupt their industry and they want to shake up their brand.”

For Freefall, joining forces with Sacunas now was a chance for the more nimble Harrisburg firm to “leapfrog” to the next level, said Jay Bowser, managing partner of Freefall.

Freefall, whose staff ranged from three to five people, was founded in September 2012. Bowser brings a track record of brand strategy and product concept development for clients such as Sony, Ford, Pfizer, Merck, Abbott, Sanofi Pasteur and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

As Sacunas continues to expand its reach and boost its services — the firm is now working with Lancaster-based Greenfish Labs Inc., a virtual reality firm — Vasquez said it will only be a matter of time before he relocates the company’s headquarters. 

Sacunas currently leases about 9,400 square feet of space on Sir Thomas Court from Nancy Sacunas, the former owner and founder of the firm.

The building, at 835 Sir Thomas Court, is listed for sale at $1.6 million.

Ideally, Vasquez would like to relocate to the city of Harrisburg, but said he would consider a move to the West Shore. He believes about 15,000 square feet of office space and ample parking should cover the firm’s local growth plans.