hall of fame

Dan Antonelli

President/Creative Director

Growing a small business is no easy task. It takes ingenuity, resolve and setbacks before reaching success.

Dan knows this because he’s lived it. From a one-person basement shop to an award-winning agency, Dan navigated the tumultuous small business landscape and lived to tell the tale. Moreover, he’s helped over 2,500 individual brands recognize the better side of business: all while building a best-in-class agency that’s collectively earned over 250 design awards.

Ever since he began hand-lettering trucks at 15, Dan has been chasing his passion for brand building and logo design.

Dan Antonelli is the President and Chief Creative Officer of KickCharge Creative, an award-winning New Jersey-based branding agency that specializes in helping home service businesses redefine themselves and stand out with disruptive brands. Dan is a nationally recognized speaker and expert on home service branding, with several books on branding to his credit, including Building a Big Small Business Brand and his new Amazon best-selling book, Branded Not Blanded: KickCharge Your Home Service Brand. During more than 25 years running his own agency, Dan’s marketing expertise has been featured on MSNBC and in industry magazines including Entrepreneur, HVACR Business, Plumbing & Mechanical, and Contracting Business, among many others. His signature wrap style that integrates disruptive branding has served as a model for superior home service fleet branding throughout the world.  He’s overseen the creation of some of the industries most well known brands,  including Goettl Air Conditioning, A1 Garage, Eco Plumbing, and Grasshopper Heating & Cooling.  Dan and his team have overseen the branding of more home service businesses than any other brand agency in the world.

Dan is frequently recruited to speak at workshops and industry trade shows as a brand master and champion of small business success. The definitive industry expert on logo design for small business, Dan has authored four books on the subject and established KickCharge® Creative as the premier brand-building agency for small businesses nationwide.

Driven by his relentless desire to surpass the industry standard for small business branding, Dan operates with a single mantra in mind: Design as if lives were at stake. And after experiencing some health challenges in 2021 (Dan is a double-bypass heart surgery survivor), he has a renewed mission to try and change the lives of as many people as possible.

Fiercely competitive by nature, Dan is also an avid Cat 3 cyclist, as well as the organizer and promoter of our agency’s very own team – KickCharge Creative Cycling Team, which includes nearly a dozen cyclists who compete or ride in various cycling events in New Jersey and beyond. He’s also a big fan of Colnago bicycles, and Corvettes.

Education

Dan holds a BA in Communications/Advertising from the University of Scranton. “Scranton gave me an amazing foundation, not just in understanding advertising, but in teaching me how to be a better communicator. While not a ‘design school,’ it taught me how to think about art from both a marketing and strategic perspective.”

What accomplishments are you most proud of?

I’m very proud of building this firm from the ground up, and of the work we do here and how we’ve helped change the lives of thousands of business owners. I’m also proud of this super-creative team I’ve assembled. The branding books that I wrote are another proud accomplishment. The awards, front covers and publicity are nice, but there’s also a tremendous amount of satisfaction in knowing that we’ve helped nearly 2,500 small businesses market and grow. Nothing makes me happier than to hear how our work has taken their business to a whole new level.

When not at work

When he’s not leading his team or coming up with killer designs, you’ll find Dan spending time with his family. He’s also an accomplished competitive cyclist, logging about 7500 miles annually. “Cycling is the hardest sport there is, bar none. That could be why I love it: because it’s not easy.” Dan also enjoys weight lifiting, saltwater fishing, and spending time with his family.

Brand Wisdom

Build a brand with a positive brand promise, and amazing things happen. Never allow your success to lull your business into a false sense of complacency, because success in spite of poor identity is not a valid reason to perpetuate it. Imagine how much more successful your business might have been with a better brand. And for my team, my rule is simple: Be better today than you were yesterday. It has served us pretty well thus far.

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