When I first started VMG Digital many years ago, all I was certain about was that I wanted to help businesses grow. That included business of any kind – from gyms to auto dealerships, from restaurants to furniture stores, and the list goes on.
We worked with tons of brands – both large and small – increasing brand awareness, online engagement, and even generate revenue from our marketing strategies. Some of those brands even included Evolution Fitness (formerly Golds Gym), Urbane EQ3, Orange Theory Fitness, Regina RIOT, and many more.
Heck, we even helped a safety product startup company Wagred Innovations to acquire purchasing deals with Suncor and Acklands using some creative advertising strategies.
We eventually worked with property management companies, public figures in the music & entertainment industry, and it was dynamic and fast-paced – which is exhilarating, to say the least.
But we had some blind spots in our firm, and it was started to become evident. One area we had clearly failed in was researching the competitive landscape before naming our firm.
The Old Identity
Since VMG Digital was a digital marketing agency working with lots of different businesses, we noticed that there was no shortage of marketing agencies serving anyone and everyone with a business license and a credit card.
To make matters worse, we noticed that there were several other companies with the same name operating in different countries.
Not only were we lost in a sea of competitors with similar names, many were serving the same audience as us.
We quickly discovered 3 major shifts we needed to make if we wanted to excel and work with more of our ideal clients.
The 3 Realizations
1. A jack of all trades is a master of none.
They say “a jack of all trades is a master of none”. When you’re a generalist, you sacrifice your ability to become a highly effective specialist. As a result, you cannot fully resonate with any specific niche.
This leads to burnout, taking on any and every client you can – which is fun and keeps things dynamic, but quickly becomes chaotic on the delivery and fulfillment side of things (which was magnified since we are a service-based business).
Master your craft and choose the “one thing” you excel at. If you want to become a highly-reputed and highly compensated specialist, you need to start by doing this.
2. In business, imitation is suicide.
Poor positioning in your industry leads to looking like just another “me too” agency or business.
A common symptom of this is feeling stuck in your business, as you’re constantly competing with a never-ending supply of other “me too” businesses fighting to serve the same generic market.
Positioning your practice or business is crucial in today’s age of information. Service providers are competing for a limited amount of online real estate and visibility, and if you want your market to remember you, you need to differentiate yourself from the competition and become “the expert” in your industry.
3. Define your "field of play".
When you’re doing 50+ different things in your business, you’re inevitably sacrificing your ability to do any of them to the best of your ability. You are unable to fully understand the problems of your target market, simply because you’re constantly switching gears and shifting your focus with every new client. This often manifests as blind spots in your strategy, and ultimately your execution.
For example, you’ll never see a high-performing athlete play in two different sports simultaneously throughout their career. They choose one field of play, and work relentlessly to better their ability in it.
If you want to see exponential growth, you need to implement the same philosophy in your business.
The Evolution of Identity
At this point, we were faced with a decision: do we pivot early on in our growth and risk missing out on branded online search traffic? Or do we continue as VMG Digital and position ourselves as a Canadian focused company – risking being drowned out in a sea of competitors?
Rebranding isn’t as simple as slapping on a new logo and hoping for the best. It’s about strengthening your company in a field of noisy competitors, reinforcing your message and most importantly, strengthening your relationship with your clients and customers.
Your core identity, messaging, and marketing all need to be consistent with all of the above, while reinforcing it. Whether it’s in-person interactions or online, every point of contact between you and your target market should scream this.
As an expert service provider or consultant, you also need to build a strong framework that’s generating results at higher profitability than what most of your target prospects are paying. You would be doing a disservice to your market by not making it easily accessible.
Once we clearly defined our “one thing” and our field of play, everything else became easy. Life is more enjoyable, problems are easily solved (no matter how complex), and everything you do compounds over time.
At Devante Group, our vision is to lead the way to the accessibility to justice, while enriching lives by connecting lawyers with the right clients, profitably. We firmly believe the best lawyers should win, not the best marketers or advertisers. We are on a mission to double the size of 100 law firms by 2025 – while ensuring that our strategies are backed by data, services delivered with outstanding results, value for money, and ultimately instill pride of partnership within our rolodex.
Takeaways to Consider
If you have been considering a rebrand, it’s important to ask the right questions to make sure you’re doing this for the right reasons.
Here are some questions that helped us make the right decisions through this journey:
- Is your business nearing it’s next stage of evolution? Has your target market changed? Is it expanding or are you targeting a new market altogether?
- Consider your mission, vision, and values. Are they aligned with the new direction you’re going? Has your brand or business outgrown it’s existing mission, vision, and values?
- Do your due diligence: research your competition and determine how you stand apart. What is your true value proposition? What makes you unique?
- What does your team think? Some of the best ideas and feedback can come from departments and team members you may not expect.
- Will rebranding compromise your brand equity?
- Do you need to consolidate your services or image under one identity? Are you okay with being the face of your brand? This won’t work for certain types of businesses, such as businesses you may want to sell at a later point.
- The most important question: why do you want to rebrand? Consider this carefully and figure out your underlying motivations.
Have you rebranded recently or are you considering a rebrand? Schedule a free consultation and get some clarity. I’m happy to share what I learned and advise you through the process.