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Swim Against the Stream™


Welcome to Braden Social. We’re a consultancy helping our clients Swim Against the Stream™ 🌊🐟



We are Braden Social


The Salmon of Knowledge

Braden [Bradán] is derived from an Irish Gaelic word meaning “salmon.” The bradán feasa is the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ in Irish folklore.

“According to Celtic legend, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the well of wisdom. By this act, the salmon gained the world’s knowledge. The first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.”

Who we’re helping Swim Against the Stream™

Since being founded by Eric Zimmett in 2014, Braden Social has been trusted by brands like Shaner Hotel Group; Penn State University; The United Way; Federal Taphouse in State College and Harrisburg; Marriott Properties; The Field Burger & Tap; and Toftrees Golf Resort

Food, Drinks & Events

Our expertise in hospitality runs deep, with industry knowledge and connections, including 5,000 local ‘tastemakers’ in our Happy Valley Eats community, along with relationships across the food & beverage industry. We work closely with Taste of the Town, WR Hickey Beer Distributor, and Untappd. Braden Social is also a Local Toast Partner agency. We also host The Pub Podcast, featuring interviews with industry thought leaders.

Gary Brandeis in The Pub The Pub Podcast

Gary Brandeis, Scholar Hotel and Social Food + Drink, joins us in The Pub


Our Research


Behavioral Science. Strategy. Storytelling.

We use principles from Behavioral Science to make our marketing more effective. From crafting better messages to customers, creating attention-grabbing stories, to menu design, our research on consumer behavior has inspired us to create better work for our clients and their customers.

Principal Eric Zimmett was teaching at Penn State University in the summer of 2014 when he founded Braden Social. His course was an introduction to consumer behavior.

Eric is certified by Cannes Lions School for Behavioral Science, Storytelling, Marketing Strategy, and Copywriting. He’s also certified by Ogilvy on Applied Behavioural Science, The Ogilvy Course on Behavioural Economics, and the Ogilvy Course on Social Media.

We are in a never-ending pursuit of knowledge — true to our name, Bradán Feasa, The Salmon of Knowledge. Swim Against the Stream™ 🌊🐟

The Salmon of Knowledge

Fenian Cycle of Irish mythology

Braden [Bradán] is derived from an Irish Gaelic word meaning “salmon.”

Bradán feasa is the ‘Salmon of Knowledge’ in Irish folklore.

According to Celtic legend, an ordinary salmon ate nine hazelnuts that fell into the well of wisdom. By this act, the salmon gained the world’s knowledge. The first person to eat of its flesh would, in turn, gain this knowledge.

The poet Finegas spent seven years searching for the salmon unsuccessfully. Until he brought his student Fionn mac Cumhail — or Finn MacCool — with him on his journey.

After catching the salmon, Finegas handed it to Finn to prepare. Finn cooked the salmon, turning it over and over, but when he touched the fish to see if it was cooked, he burnt his finger on a drop of hot cooking fish fat. Finn sucked on his burned finger to ease the pain.

When Finn brought the cooked meal to Finegas, his master saw that the boy’s eyes shone with a previously unseen wisdom. Finegas asked Finn if he had eaten any of the salmon. Answering no, the boy explained what had happened. Finegas realized that Finn had received the wisdom of the salmon, so he gave him the rest of the fish to eat.

Finn ate the salmon and in so doing gained all the knowledge of the world. The deep knowledge and wisdom gained from the Salmon of Knowledge allowed Finn to become the leader of the Fianna, the famed heroes of Irish myth.