My partner and I stare at each other across the room. The intensity of the moment is in contrast to our surroundings. I wait for his reply, comforted by the soft chatter of birds and the gentle rustle of leaves on this quiet morning on our secluded bay. This is a tough conversation, but it’s time.
We’ve been at the lake for several weeks over the summer. We can always think more clearly here. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time. And now it’s out there, on the table.
“Really, just shut it all down?” He says. As he ponders this, I watched the relief wash over his face.
But I begin to backtrack. This is really hard. “Well I don’t know if we need to end it this way but … we need to make a change.”
We’re talking about our business, the one we’ve run together for the past 15 years.
As Dezine Source, we were proud to be a full service small advertising and marketing firm. In addition to strategic planning and professional writing services, we did graphic design, print production and brokering. And website design. A lot of web design. As this piece of our business became more and more commoditized we — like many of our colleagues — have been forced into a hard reality: too little profit, too much liability. The investment in training and technology to keep up isn’t paying off for a company our size. We’re kind of stuck in the middle – too small for the size of web design projects that have room for some ROI, and too big to do this work for free.
We still believe in the power of customized design, writing and consultation but see the need to shift our focus to those areas of our business where we’ve continued to see growth and opportunities.
So where do we go from here?
The conversation on this promising August morning turned to what we wanted to do for the next evolution of our business. For me, it’s always been about defining key messages and at this early stage, ours looked something like this:
- We write for business; business is our passion.
- All messages are not created equal. Knowing your audiences and responding to their specific and different needs with relevant content and marketing is critical.
- We understand the style and structure of copy that sells and engages.
- The strength of our work lies in the fact that we deliver solutions that are unexpected, unique and fuelled by solid strategy.
- We care. About our clients. About the work we do for them.
- We understand that the right messages and media choices can make all the difference.
- We know how to approach all stages and sizes of projects – from initial research, concepts and budgets to content audits, full strategies, implementation and followup.
- Our proven strength is helping clients move forward with a commitment to their purpose and goals.
- We still do graphic design but only when it’s driven by a solid content and media strategy.
It is clearly time to break up with Dezine Source and start something different that captures these key points.
Now, what should we call this new company?