In late 2008, Sophicity, then known as Mimsware, realized it needed to do something different to accelerate its growth. It knew it needed to redefine its company message to better position itself in an extremely crowded marketplace. One challenge was that Mimsware hadn’t yet clearly defined its target audience or its corporate focus.
Despite successfully creating a niche in the city government/municipal league space, Mimsware was unfocused, as it attempted to sell to large enterprises, small-to-medium businesses, and government institutions. During 2009, the company engaged Arketi to help them create a strategy, define a go-to-market position, and advance their brand based on new positioning.
Arketi’s initial task was to create a message that would differentiate itself in an extremely crowded space. From there, Arketi would focus on generating leads and awareness.
As with any engagement, Arketi started the Mimsware messaging project with an Unearth Session to better understand Mimsware’s target audience, competitive landscape and the company’s key differentiators. Following that session, Arketi conducted primary research that involved interviewing customers and prospects to understand their purchase decision-making process, as well as the most important purchase decision attributes and benefits.
Based on this information, Arketi determined that Mimsware’s lack of focus in its target audience was limiting its opportunity to fully own the space where it was had gained the most traction and customers – city government and municipal leagues.
Arketi also determined that a renaming exercise was warranted, as the current name, Mimsware, did not support the new company focus. As a result, the new message and company name came together to support the new go-to-market brand:
with the IT consulting services they need to
unleash the potential of government IT.
Sophicity puts the IT in city.
The new positioning focused on Sophicity providing IT services and consulting tailored to city governments and municipal leagues, thereby enabling them to better plan, implement, and manage their technology infrastructure.
Sophicity’s target market became very focused: Government officials from small and mid-sized cities in the Southeast including (1) city clerks, (2) city managers, (3) police chiefs, (4) league officials from municipal leagues such as the Georgia Municipal Association and (5) IT decision makers within city governments and municipal leagues.
With the new message in hand, Arketi began a visual branding program for the company. The branding project incorporated the new value proposition and tagline, “We put the IT in city.”
Following the logo creation, Arketi created three brand identity concepts in the form of mood boards. The selected mood board incorporated and highlighted iconic city imagery, such as water towers and road signs with key buying attributes such as “expertise” and “service” within the imagery.
Arketi then developed the needed branding materials to go-to-market, including a new website design, an overview brochure, and various templates such for e-newsletters, PowerPoints, and more.
Overall results exceeded expectations within the first year. First, the results of Arketi’s branding and messaging projects helped Sophicity greatly expand its prospect base. Following the completion of the company rebranding, Sophicity was able to get in front of an additional 1,200 new prospects, representing 5 percent of its market. Sophicity also was able to add 350 new cities to its distribution list with messages that clearly resonated with its target audience.
Shortly after the launch in September 2009, Sophicity’s CEO noted that the company had experienced a five-fold increase in invitations to submit request for proposals from city governments across the Southeast. Since then, Sophicity has grown revenue and landed numerous clients.
According to Sophicity President David Mims, “Marketing has helped our buyers come to us rather than us having to find them.”
“I measure everything and even through the recession and the launching of our brand we’ve shown positive numbers within our market. Just within our states we’ve tripled.”
The rebranding has also helped Sophicity further its geographic entry into other Southeastern states. Put simply, the company’s new visual look clearly highlights its expertise in city government and reaches prospects in a way that is more personal and relevant to their needs.
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Arketi designed a corporate brochure focused on Sophicity’s new positioning of expertise in providing IT services and consulting tailored to city governments and municipal leagues.
The website and other marketing materials incorporated and highlighted iconic city imagery, such as water towers and road signs with key buying attributes such as “expertise” and “service” within the imagery.
In line with Sophicity’s new positioning, Arketi developed a corporate logo and message that culminated with Sophicity, We put the IT in city.