RMG – Our Rebrand Journey
Part 1: Best Laid Plans
A few months back we were feeling pretty good about things. The business was in great shape, we had solid plans in place for improvement and sustainable expansion, along with a whole new brand and way of working ready to go. It was time to get our message out there, share our own excitement and buckle up for the ride! What could possibly go wrong?
We all know what happened next of course. Just before go-live the world was turned upside down. That train that had been steaming ahead not only hit the buffers but left the track and lay in a crumpled heap. It wasn’t a tough decision to put the rebrand and re-positioning of our services on hold. It wasn’t that either of those weren’t right for the future RMG, we simply had much more pressing things to concern ourselves with, survival for one.
As we took a breath in those frantic first few days, we did some soul-searching. Was our strategy still right? Were we going far enough? Amidst the need to make urgent business-critical decisions, we realised we couldn’t waste the chance we had been given to make sure that we would reach the eventual relaunch as the RMG we wanted and needed to be in this different world.
Looking back now, 2019 of course, seems like a lifetime ago. Retail Marketing Group (RMG) had just turned 15. As a well-established independent, people-centric business the Company had built a strong heritage in the consumer electronics sector. Attracting, developing and deploying passionate people with a talent for engaging consumers and bringing to life the stories behind brands had become our proof point. That said, there was to be no resting on laurels. As we planned for 2020 we knew very well that we had to change.
It wasn’t Covid that first nudged us towards change. Well before that we accepted that the time was right to take stock and then hit the refresh button. Undoubtedly, we needed to take a fresh look at our propositions. Was our offering too narrow? Was that how our current and potential clients saw us? We had a core business in “field marketing” largely focused on consumer electronics in retail, that we needed to retain and grow, but we wanted and needed to diversify into new areas. Having set off on that path we had already realised we needed to find new ways of sharing this news with clients and employees, both existing and potential.
Whilst Covid wasn’t the initial catalyst for change, it did bring a sudden and unexpected urgency. The speed of change around us breath-taking at times. Very quickly we were stuck by a number of things. Our direction of travel was still right. Our new RMG DNA felt more relevant than ever. That was something at least! However, two very big realisations hit us particularly hard: The changes we had planned were neither deep enough nor close to fast enough to set us up for survival and subsequently, success. As a Leadership team we were struggling to keep up with just how quickly everything around us was moving. A few months on this all seems so blindingly obvious, but back then we were all learning together. Seismic change was going on and much of it was here for the long term.
Thankfully, we didn’t see the work we’d put in refreshing and revamping our client offerings as wasted. However, we’d have been mad not to use the opportunity we’d been presented with to take a step back and revisit the progress we had made. We were clear that the main essence of our future proposition, developed pre-Covid, still rang true – one seamless, full journey service under the RMG banner. We’ve seen a theme emerge from client conversations. There is a widely held desire for an agency to think about the entire journey, whatever that journey is, as one, weaving in people, insights and digital elements along the way, and avoiding the need to deal with multiple account managers and arms of that same agency. This really struck a chord with us and became a key tenet when we started to look at how we can best bring that that joined up proposition to life and is how we present ourselves today.
RMG today is a brand experience agency.