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August 1, 2022

Rebel with a cause: Growing digital marketing agency embraces change with new Cheshire HQ

PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER President Allison Minutillo and CEO Bryn Tindall, co-owners of Rebel Interactive Group, stand in the lobby of the company’s new headquarters at 535 West Main St., Cheshire.
HBJ PHOTO | STEVE LASCHEVER The balcony at Rebel Interactive's new headquarters in Cheshire.
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Rebel Interactive Group has been challenging the status quo since 2013, but it took a global pandemic for the integrated digital marketing firm to land in its new location, a renovated barn along Route 10 in Cheshire.

Rebel Interactive has consolidated its operations after more than doubling in size since 2020. But even as the company grows, it wants to be different, inviting its employees to be disruptors and pioneers. The firm calls its more than 100 employees “rebels.”

“You need a little of that in your business,” CEO and founder Bryn Tindall said during a recent tour of the company’s new headquarters at 535 West Main St. “What I mean by that is shake-up, change, being willing to question what’s come before. … If you look around, businesses are being disrupted right and left, and we have positioned the Rebel brand to help companies not be disrupted, or to be the disruptor.”

Rebel theme

Rebel Interactive has moved into its new 25,000-square-foot space, the site of the former Furniture Barn. The building, with vaulted ceilings, exposed woodwork and a grand staircase, carries a “rebel” theme throughout.

Each of the 32 rooms is named after a rebellious figure in history, from graffiti artist Banksy to boxer Muhammad Ali to singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin. A plaque outside each room explains why the rebel is important in history.

“You can see every room has a different color, different theme, it’s meant to feel like a different aesthetic, each place you walk into,” said President Allison Minutillo.

Allison Minutillo, who served as president and co-owner of Rebel Interactive, with CEO Bryn Tindall, also a co-owner, in Rebel Interactive's new office at 535 West Main St., Cheshire.

The main entrance is outfitted with lush chairs, velvet accents and pop art, reminiscent of a Miami hotel. There’s a recording studio with neon pink “on air” signs on one side, and a waiting area with a faux-grass wall on the other.

There’s a Gordon Ramsay-themed kitchen, and a Robin Williams-themed conference room. The exterior has been painted a sleek red, white and gray, the colors of the company’s brand palette.

Rebel Interactive purchased the property for $1.2 million last year. Renovations took more than seven months, with employees contributing ideas to the design concept – and even their own labor.

A sponge-painted wall, designed by employees, features a quote from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs: “Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… .”

It was the only property co-owners Tindall and Minutillo viewed as they sought a new location for Rebel Interactive, which had outgrown its leased space in Southington.

As other businesses entered survival mode during the pandemic, closing offices and sending workers home, Rebel took advantage of the lower prices for commercial real estate, the duo said.


“A lot of businesses just put their heads down and tried to get through COVID, trying to weather the storm,” Tindall said. “We went into it fist deep. We were growing and building and innovating through the entire process, and came out the other side ahead, and we’ve just been building on top of that.”

Growth mode

Minutillo, who hosts the “Rebel Leadership Podcast,” said the firm’s growth began before the pandemic.

“About 3 1/2 years ago, we just doubled down our leadership, our people, our processes,” she said. “We just tightened up our operations and became this well-oiled machine of such badass experts in the digital marketing space.”

Also during the pandemic, many businesses turned their focus to the digital space, which increased demand for digital marketing services at “absolute lightning speed,” Minutillo said.

Earlier this year, Rebel ranked No. 1,842 on Inc.’s 2021 list of fastest-growing U.S. private companies. Over the past three years, the firm has increased its revenues by 247%, according to Inc.

While exquisite offices might help motivate employees to return from remote work, Minutillo said she believes in-person offices will ultimately prevail.

“Even though our company is part in-person, part remote, we still very much believe in the marriage of the two,” Minutillo said. “It’s a nice harmony when people are able to come into the building and vibe off each other and get inspiration from each other and figure out a problem on the white board and then go home and have some accountability. We just don’t believe in the trend that everybody’s working from home forever.”

Rebel Interactive officially opened its new offices to employees on July 12.

The firm offers web design and digital advertising, along with other consulting services, focusing on digital marketing, artificial intelligence and consumer privacy. It serves small businesses and large employers.

The company’s work often begins when a client asks for help solving a problem.

“We’re a consultancy,” Tindall explained. “It’s a little like going to your doctor when your business needs help. You know what hurts you, and our job is to assess what that pain point is for you as a business, what isn’t working, what do you aspire to become, where do you see your business and what you’d like to drive it. Our job is to begin to put the infrastructure and the strategy and the messaging into place to help people get there.”

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