Rick Rusch – Principal

An ‘accidental merchant’ Rick fell into retail after three summers of backcountry guiding in northern Minnesota and the Colorado Rockies. Breaking into the outdoor retail sector initially with Eddie Bauer (back when they still sold camping gear and skis) and then REI. Later Rick honed his marketing skills during a 16 year stint at Lands’ End (prior to the Sears acquisition). While at Lands’ End Rick learned, and believes to this day, that every brand and product requires an ‘edge’ or reason for being. It’s imperative to call out the unique attributes that can be directly tied to benefits of every brand’s products and services.

The foundation for what is known today as TheBrandGuides began over a dozen years ago. As an avid fly fisherman, Rick applies the lessons of approach, presentation and knowledge gained on the river to his role(s) at TheBrandGuides. Fortunately for Rick and TheBrandGuides he has assembled a crack team of skilled professionals and great folks.

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Ian Curran – Principal

Ian found himself in Colorado after graduating with a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Iowa. He quickly immersed himself within the skate and snowboard culture and began practicing design within the industry. After owning his own clothing company for five years he decided his true passion was to create design for others instead of for himself. Ian’s primary focus has been on branding design and helping companies create brand identity systems that resonate with their audiences and truly represents who they are. Timeless design not only communicates, it evokes emotion from its viewer.

Design is everywhere and it affects the way we interact with one another. Ian believes that the primary responsibility of design is to communicate. Great design is achieved when communication and beauty coexist within a visual mark. Ian was classically trained in the arts, and still finds himself starting each new project on paper and pencil. The computer is simply another tool to create art, just the same as a paint brush, and not the source of creativity itself.

Ian combines classical design training with strategy created by TheBrandGuides to elevate the perception of challenger brands beyond where they’ve been previously.

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Rob Campbell – Photography

In a world of fast autofocus cameras and camera phones – everyone can take a photo at anytime. Rob stands apart from the masses in his approach and process of composing each picture. Extracting an emotion from the subject or the remarkable uniqueness of an object, is what separates Rob’s work from the ordinary.

Every project presents unique challenges and Rob strives to have it stand in its own light. What initially brought Rob to photography is what keeps him in it to this day. And that is for craft images that resonate, that speak to someone and create a lasting memory.

Rob is the principal of Robert Campbell Photography and the lead photographer for TheBrandGuides. A collection of Rob’s work can be reviewed at Robert Campbell Photo

We love Rob’s approach and the results he creates. We believe you will too.

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Mark Kelly – ExoVend® Digital Commerce System

Mark believes that brand companies – product developers, manufacturers, distributors and their retailers – generate the creative force that drives global commerce. As cofounder of MWRC Internet Sales and Head of Systems Development for the ExoVend Digital Commerce System, Mark has put that belief into practice, building a unique B2C and B2B platform that solves brand/retailer channel conflict. ExoVend enables ALL value-add stakeholders in the marketing and distribution chain – stakeholders that have previously been excluded in the one-size-fits-all direct-sales scheme – to participate collaboratively in the e-commerce process.

Mark brings vast experience in Internet business to ExoVend. From access and hosting to software development and system security to custom integration, he has been involved in all aspects of online commerce for more than 20 years. As president of ExoVend Inc. he now leads a rapidly growing organization dedicated to forging a powerful and innovative future for digital commerce.

We at TheBrandGuides have worked with ExoVend for the past five years. ExoVend’s ease of installation, responsive design and flat out secure platform has allowed us to bring professional power eCommerce to our clients. Learn more about ExoVend at

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Gabriel Rovick – F4D Studio Video

Gabriel Rovick is the founder and co-owner of F4D Studio, a Denver-based production house specializing in documentary-style filmmaking and content branding. His camera, and thirst for adventure, have taken him deep in the Canadian backcountry, across Europe, through Asia, and beyond. A true Colorado native, Gabriel’s upbringing in Breckenridge, Colorado turned him into an entrepreneurial adrenaline junky with an artist’s eye.

F4D Studio is a leader in aerial video specializing in all facets of capturing and producing the highest end HD cinema for video and photography in film, TV, digital and commercial outlets. F4D Studio operates under the mindset that every project, regardless of size, is a direct reflection of our exhaustive capabilities. Each of the handpicked team members are masters of their respective trade, whether it’s film production, aerial cinema or capturing the spectrum of emotions living in each detail of a photograph. Visit the 4FD Studios website.

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