Brightbox shines in a bleak economy: A business success story

Four year-old Houston based brand marketing company reaches $4.6 million in revenue.

HOUSTON, November 21, 2012 - In an economy plagued by business bankruptcies, home foreclosures, and union strikes, it’s hard to find a silver lining. Those who take refuge in comfort foods are going to have to cross Twinkies off their grocery list, and Walmart shoppers may find their local stores poorly staffed as the chain’s employees go on strike in lieu of Black Friday.

With Thanksgiving arriving tomorrow, it’s hard for many to truly feel thankful, especially with unemployment rates at such a spike that almost everyone knows at least one person who’s out of a job. Financial success and career stability are now rarities, especially among entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Nevertheless, there’s a little company in The Lone Star State that’s making big waves. Jason Arcemont and Patrick McDonough launched Brightbox in 2008 as a brand marketing company specializing in everything from website building to graphic design. Starting with only $2,000 in the bank, their business skyrocketed, reaching revenues of $4.6 million this year.

Growing by 650% in just three years is feat in any economy, let alone a declining one. In fact, Brightbox recently made the Inc. 500/5000 List of America’s fastest growing companies for the second year running, and is ranked as one of the top 100 marketing and advertising companies (#63) in the United States.

How did these two young entrepreneurs pull off such a feat? To answer our questions, we interviewed Brightbox co-founder, Jason Arcemont. A handsome 30-something with a growing young family, Arcemont’s fortés lie in marketing strategy, corporate branding, and public relations. In his spare time he is an avid athlete, participating in events such as the Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas triathlon. 

GRASSMAN: Congratulations, Jason, on your success with Brightbox. I’m curious, what did you do before BrightBox?

ARCEMONT: Growing up in a family of entrepreneurs I was never short of ambition. I held so many jobs early on in my career that at one point I remember my family really being worried about me. It eventually paid off when one day everything came into focus. I realized that I wasn’t meant to work just one job with just one company, but in several different capacities with several different companies. So, I landed a great job as a sales rep at a marketing firm and loved everything about it, from raising capital to developing campaigns to launching a new product or service into the market place. I especially liked working with a lot of companies and seeing a lot of different business models on a daily basis. The only thing missing was a sense of personal ownership of the company. So after 13 years in marketing and advertising, my business partner Patrick McDonough and I secured business independence by starting BrightBox.

GRASSMAN: What inspired you to launch a brand marketing company?

ARCEMONT: I had worked at other marketing firms for years where we basically sat back and waited for the client to come to us with an order. We’d knock out the project, send an invoice, and be done with it. After years of doing that it just got to the point where I knew I could be providing my clients a better service by being proactive. Doing a little bit upfront for my clients to ensure the ideas I brought would be strategic, creative, and ROI focused. This passion for results is what lead me to start my own firm. 

GRASSMAN: What sets BrightBox apart from other brand marketing companies?

ARCEMONT: There are so many things this team does that set us apart. The two biggest things that come to mind are, one, we do all strategy, creativity and execution in-house. This makes it easier on our clients having one point of contact and increases the consistency in creativity and strategic deployment. Two, we have an amazingly creative team, but at BrightBox, creative is a given. So what we really focus on is implementing measurable marketing programs. Our Key Performance Managers meticulously track our clients marketing program on a monthly bases to gauge how well we’re achieving their marketing KPI [Key Performance Indicators]. This level of focus on implementation and tracking, I believe, is why BrightBox will continue to gobble up marketing share in the years to come.

GRASSMAN: Do you think Houston is a good incubator for a young company, and if so, why is that?

ARCEMONT: Absolutely! Houston has a thriving economy. Look back over the past five years and compare Houston to any other major city in the US. They just can’t compete. We have such a solid Energy Industry presence, and with the expanding medical and technology sectors, this city is an entrepreneur’s dream come true. Besides, you can’t beat the hospitality.

GRASSMAN: Despite a sluggish economy on the national scale, BrightBox made the Inc. 500/5000 List of America’s fastest growing companies for the second year in a row. Congrats! How did you finagle it?

ARCEMONT: BrightBox started in the midst of an economic downturn. My business partner and I knew that in order to make this company work we couldn’t buy into the sluggish economy excuse. So we set out like true madmen to take over this city’s marketing industry. We knew there would be a lot of companies looking to cut back their marketing dollars and find new firms who were hungry and willing to fight for the business. We screamed for attention, we fought for a chance to play with the big boys, and we brought amazing strategy and creativity every time. Closed just under $1 million our first year and never looked back.

GRASSMAN: What do you see in the near future for BrightBox?

ARCEMONT: The BrightBox team continues to push themselves for positive transformation. Our processes are tight, clients are happy and we’re looking to continue pushing this dream. I have no doubt that we’ll be a nationally recognized brand marketing firm in the coming years. Look out competition, ‘cause we’re hungry to show your clients how BrightBox can more effectively put their brands to work!

You can read more about Brightbox and keep up with their active business and marketing blog via www.BrightboxOnline.com.

 


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Jennifer Grassman

Jennifer Grassman is a singer, songstress and pianist who inadvertently became a music industry trailblazer in the wake of the digital revolution. In addition to penning her quirky music industry column, "The Business of Being Diva," Jennifer writes songs and performs concert tours. Jennifer’s accomplishments include being nominated Houston’s best female vocalist and best songwriter and was named best keyboardist in the 2010 Houston Press Music Awards. She assisted in a campaign that raised more than $100,000 for CrimeStoppers and was commended by musician Tori Amos for her charitable efforts on behalf of domestic-abuse victims.  Jennifer has released three CDs, the most recent of which, "Serpent Tales & Nightingales," received accolades from Christianity Today, the Houston Chronicle and Brian Ray and the guitarist of Paul McCartney's band. You can check out Jennifer’s music at www.JenniferGrassman.com, like her on Facebook and tweet her at www.Twitter.com/JGrassman.

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