The partner spotlight is a weekly series where we go behind the scenes with some of the companies that make VendorDB great. Next up is Propane Studio!


The Vitals

Name: Propane Studio
Location: San Francisco
Year Founded: 2003
Specialties: It’s no secret there’s a vast amount of digital services out there. We’ve tried to make it easy for our partners to digest by breaking our services into 3 areas:

  • Storytelling, specifically in the form of branding, messaging, content strategy, animation, and creative design.

  • Connectivity to help our partners make the right decisions for direct response, marketing automation, content management systems, CRM solutions, responsive websites, and analytics.
  • Finally, our performance business helps our clients find their digital potential from our digital strategy consulting practice and ability to gain critical consumer and stakeholder insights. As we say at the agency, “A problem well defined is a problem half-solved.”

What makes you different from other agencies?

We know there’s untapped potential in the digital space, and we’re on a mission to help our clients realize it. That is why Propane Studio is not a traditional digital agency or marketing firm, but instead a band of technologists, strategists, coders, and designers that solve business challenges through creative, technology and insights. For us, it’s not enough to just have great creative ideas, but to have the know-how to connect those ideas to a digital ecosystem that builds gravity among perspective buyers and engages your consumers not only from your digital front door, but throughout the customer experience—both pre- and post-purchase.


Which work put you on the map?

Speck Products, makers of iconic cases for your smartphones and other devices, turned to us to build their first eCommerce website. Beyond the website, we streamlined their business processes with a custom CMS that linked the marketing department to sales and inventory. This allowed Speck to continue its rapid growth rate with limited internal resources. As a result, projects that once took a few weeks could be completed in a matter of hours.

What was the most challenging work you’ve created?

The Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) has been a hot topic recently, and you’ve probably heard about the blunders of the federal government’s website which cost nearly $1 billion to build. We designed and developed in-house the digital healthcare exchange for Kaiser Permanente, one of the country’s largest private insurers. This fully responsive website launched on time, in full compliance with the new law, and cost less than 1% of what the federal government’s did.

What advice would you give to a brand who is considering building an internal agency?

As people become more and more empowered by digital, it’s natural to begin thinking of bringing it in-house. The benefits of hiring an agency are increasing, too, as expectations rise as a result of the accessibility of digital. This means agencies have a new responsibility to help clients pursue the correct solution and build a highly collaborative practice so that continuing efforts between internal resources and the agency are able to forge new paths ahead and increase velocity of the brand.

Keiser Perminente

What makes your agency culture special?

We have a bit of constructive “pirate” in us, which derives from our resourcefulness, strategic maneuvering, and fearlessness to embrace large challenges and break the mold. We know what it’s like to be the underdog, and we’ve never lost the hunger to work a littler harder and dig a little deeper to exceed expectations.

Where is the best bar in San Francisco?

You’ll likely find us posting it outside of Grumpy’s a few blocks from the agency, or around our own bar in the break area while shooting pool where our in-house DJ starts spinning on Friday after work.



You can learn more about Propane Studio on VendorDB and at