If you were asked to name some great, iconic businesses, there are a few that almost certainly would make the list. There’s Microsoft. And Facebook. Apple. And Google.
But another great has been able to do things those others really haven’t: successfully move into multiple categories and dominate them. They’ve been able to unleash expectations in a way the others haven’t.
Books. Ecommerce. Cloud Computing. Groceries. Concierge Services. It’s Amazon, of course.
Now it’s not that others haven’t tried. Google, Apple and Microsoft are tech giants that have become really great in a specific area – online services, hardware or software. They’ve each tried to do more and push into new areas, but have been held up by one thing: their size and their specific toolbox. They’ve successfully found solutions to hard technical problems – building a Google-driven computer platform around a pair of glasses, for example… but once they solved that problem, had they created a product the world knew it needed?
Of course, sometimes you get a break out hit. Bringing something valuable to market that the world, in fact, did not know it needed. But more often than not, companies that go the distance are those that solve an identified need differently. Where Amazon has succeeded – and the others have struggled – is that Amazon has found a way to innovate around a user need (convenience, access, speed) and is willing to use whatever technology, platform or approach that may be necessary to do that. They figure out a workable business model and then go to work solving the technical problem.
The others don’t do that. Apple, Google and Microsoft each work from their own toolboxes. They are expected to. And it makes sense when you’re creating a new service that’s similar to the space you’ve had a homerun hit in… Now certainly, most would agree that their toolsets are impressive and their toolboxes are highly useful. But as great as they are, they’re limited. Apple is only going to use Apple hardware and operating systems… regardless of the user need. Microsoft and Google are equally guilty.
That got us thinking. While Rogue can certainly not yet claim market relevancy on par with the likes of Amazon, the approach is similar. This strategic way of thinking differentiates us from the many other agencies a growth-oriented business could choose.
Many agencies are great at the thing they do. They’ve built frameworks and technologies that have propelled them to this greatness… and handcuff them at the same time. The bigger the agency, the more restrictions (use only the tools we created) and limitations you’ll find… and that means it will be harder to innovate new solutions.
When a mid-size, growth-oriented or challenger brand works with Rogue the question quickly becomes what is the white space, or user need that the brand satisfies? What tools exist to get there and what are the most strategic and practical options that could be taken to get there? Then an integrated system is constructed – often made up of multiple tools and approaches – to achieve the desired outcome.
It’s different other places. If an agency was founded as a great SEO company… your challenge will always look like an SEO problem. Solution? More backlinks and keyword-driven content. If an agency started as a great creative agency… your challenge will look like a user interface problem. If the agency was founded as a “digital” agency… your challenge could likely be overcome with more paid media or social posting.
Rogue started as a business strategy agency. We were founded believing that all these channels work… they just don’t always work for every situation. In a world where a thousand tactics could be done, what’s the strategic rationale for building out the 3-5 options that will yield the greatest results the fastest? How can you put the channels and tools that work together to get a paying customer to pull money out of their wallet? Rogue believes in creative. We love SEO and understand the value and necessity of paid media. We think data matters and know that the colors of a button can result in very different outcomes.
Whereas competitors standardize around their toolsets and tactics, selling and promoting only the things they have in their toolbox or the expertise they have on their bench. Rogue standardizes and scales around its proven frameworks and methodologies. This strategic line of thinking leads us to always be growing our toolbox. Like master woodworkers and tinkerers, we too never seem to have enough tools. We even have multiple versions of tools that do the same thing, just in different ways because the nuance matters. We start smaller, using strategic practicalityTM, to find out what’s viable… and then put more resources and tackle larger challenges once those smaller initiatives pay off.
You can expect:
- Strategic fund allocation around tactics that are proven, promising AND emerging
- Clear milestones/outcomes that are achieved before expanding further
- Freedom to use the tools and processes that make the most sense, rather than conforming to a set of tools in the company’s preferred toolbox
Ready to expand beyond the toolbox you’re currently playing with? Looking for an agency that doesn’t see your challenge as just another nail because the only tool they have is a hammer? If your brand could benefit from a group of thinkers–that can also do–then it’s time to Go Rogue.