About

Mission

When I founded Three Deuce Branding on June 16, 1997, I wrote the following mission statement on a Post-It:

To help good people build great brands.

That mission hasn’t changed in the intervening years. I want to work with brands that make a difference, and with people who mean well. If that sounds like you, we’re probably a good fit.

Beliefs

The following beliefs form the core of my thinking on brands & brand strategy:

  • Brands are built by what we do, not what we say.
  • If we do something different, we’ll have a story worth telling.
  • Any brand reflects the collective intent of the team of people behind it.
  • Strategy stands on analysis but thrives on creativity.
  • We’re nothing without the people we serve.
  • Let’s win with honor.
  • Let’s enjoy the ride.

About the Founder

Matthew Fenton Chicago Brand Strategy

Matthew Fenton is a principled, inventive brand strategist with a track record of doing more with less. He’s a former CMO and the founder of Three Deuce Branding, a consultancy with a simple mission: “To help good people build great brands.” Since 1997, Three Deuce has helped hundreds of businesses to achieve brand clarity, and to focus, stand out and grow.

Matthew knows how to build brands with limited resources because he’s done it from the inside. In each of his seven years as a client-side brand leader, he led confectionery brands in mature categories to double-digit revenue growth. These include brands like:

  • Trolli – Where he led Sour Brite Crawlers to become the best-selling gummi worm in the country.
  • Airheads – Where he led the plan that tripled sales in under five years, and launched innovations like White Mystery Airheads and the 6-Bar Pack, which remain in stores over 25 years later.
  • Brach’s – Where he immediately restored a classic American brand to growth after several years of neglect and decline.

The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber has honored Three Deuce Branding with a Small Business Excellence Award, and the Cincinnati Business Courier selected Matthew to the 2003 clas of “Forty Under 40.” (Matthew has since relocated Three Deuce to Chicago.)

Matthew has competed in the World Series of Poker and is a graduate of the Second City Improvisation Program. He enjoys soccer, Peloton, wine, travel, music and reading anything he can get his hands on.  He lives in Chicago’s thriving Fulton Market District with his wife, Kara.

But enough with the life story. Here’s what others say…

“Matthew is an endangered species: A marketer who can blend positioning, strategy and tactics.  Without hesitation, I call on Matthew to help create miracles for the world’s greatest marketing challenges.”

Doug Hall, Founder & Chairman, Eureka! Ranch

“Matthew quite simply is the man. He has reshaped much of my thinking around marketing and shown me and our organization the importance of branding. Not only does he know how to simplify the brand strategy process, but he understands culture, research and creativity.

“I highly recommend Matthew for anyone that is struggling with how position a brand in the marketplace.”

Jim Price, CEO, Empower MediaMarketing

“Matthew delivers a wealth of brand-building ideas.  But perhaps his greatest talent is bringing new ideas out of those who know their business best.  He taught us how to think fresh.”

Todd Bender, Former VP-Sales and Marketing, Heritage Homes

“Matthew helped us clearly define our vision for the Natorp’s brand – and create strategic ideas to turn that vision into reality.  I would recommend Matthew to anyone who wants to take their brand to the next level.”

Kyle Natorp, CEO & President, Natorp’s Inc.

“I would recommend Matthew for any group that would like to experience the ‘Now I Get It’ moment.  I could almost classify it as an epiphany!”

Deb Kelley, Former Marketing Manager, Fidelity Investments

“Matthew’s asset base is derived from both sides of the desk – client and agency – uniquely positioning his ability to drive impressive business results.  Working with Matthew over the past 15 years has always been exhilarating, productive and richly rewarding, no matter the assignment.

“From strategy to branding to discovering the ‘wow’ factor, Three Deuce Branding is a sure bet.”

Tom Wessling, Owner, TLW Consulting; Former SVP-Client Services, Carlson Marketing Worldwide

“Matthew brought insight, clarity and structure to the surprisingly difficult challenge of defining our brand.  He was particularly adept at distilling our creativity into actionable and differentiated strategies.  At the end of the process, we were confident that our brand was authentically positioned for success.”   

Mike McCaw, Principal, Wealth Dimensions Group

“I’ve worked with Matthew on several occasions to generate new product ideas.  First, he clearly explains why it is necessary to… and then inspires participants to push ideas out past their comfort zones in order to envision new opportunities.  Plus, he’s a lot of fun!”

Gwendolyn Graff, Former Technical Principal & Creativity Fellow, Wrigley