Why Navigate?

10 May 2022

Digital Visitor is changing

Born in Bristol in 2005, at the heart of the new digital era, Digital Visitor launched when Facebook had just made its way to UK universities, signalling the beginning of fast and expansive change in digital marketing.

After nearly seventeen years as Digital Visitor, we discuss with founder and CEO Anthony Rawlins and Managing Director Simon Jones why now is the right time to make a change. 


Why the switch?

Anthony Rawlins: ‘Quite simply, we feel the job we set out to do has been done, and digital has become the default marketing choice. We aimed to show tourism, destination, travel and experience businesses the power of digital marketing compared to the traditional forms that they knew.

Of course, I’m not saying we did this job on our own. The pandemic has challenged businesses to think differently about marketing, and the move to digital has been significant.

The question for us was, what's next? … in this new era of continual change, consumer exploration and the development of emotionally-led purchase drivers, what we need is a good adaptable strategy, creativity and brand value growth. Seventeen years ago, the primary challenge for our industry was getting involved in digital marketing and now it’s brand growth and strategy. We now need to guide businesses at a higher level.’

How did you choose to switch?  

Simon Jones: ‘We've been thinking about the brand change for a couple of years … our services had developed over time, and the pandemic gave us time to reflect and understand the work we enjoyed the most, that we were strongest at, and also that clients needed the most. It gave us time to digest the areas we really enjoy doing and where we think our key strengths are, helping brands develop strategy and showing them the way.’  

Anthony Rawlins: ‘Over seventeen years, tools, software, and technology have been created to enable internal teams to automate a good proportion of digital marketing … so we needed to ask … where is our support most valuable? And we feel our expertise is most required in the strategic direction of their communications. In how to create emotional, meaningful connections with audiences to grow brand awareness, advocacy and ultimately growth.’ 


Why the name?

Anthony Rawlins: ‘To journey through uncharted territory.’ ‘You can't just be static, you fundamentally have to change and you have to move. To do this, you need destinations, waypoints, coordinates and directions. Navigate fits beautifully with this.

We’re also very curious, our team are explorers. We like to challenge the status quo and look for new perspectives to make things work. It’s about us being comfortable in new territory.

On a personal note (whilst I would never say this to him), my brother was an RAF navigator. And I remember growing up as a young boy seeing him putting on his flight suit, thinking that he was the coolest person on the planet. Obviously, I know better now. But it's another point of resonance with our new brand..’

Anthony Rawlins: ‘We sequestered ourselves as owners of the business, and handed the reigns over to our creative and strategy teams. Like so many situations in life, when you're in the thick of it, it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. We knew our involvement might hinder the creative process, because of our preconceptions and opinions about our business. We wanted fresh, creative eyes and wanted to let them loose.

The result is amazing and I'm very proud of our creative team, particularly Duncan, Lewis and Emily, for what has been produced.’

Why the visuals?

Why does this brand change resonate? Who will it help? 

Anthony Rawlins: ‘I feel we’re now able to almost exclusively work for the kinds of business we are inspired by, namely experience and purpose businesses.

Our identity as a pending B Corp is something I'm keen to share and demonstrate with fellow business owners, that every single business can be a force for good, in so many different ways. Utilising a framework such as the B Corp movement is a great way of balancing people, planet and profit.’

Simon Jones: ‘...and the name represents us guiding our staff on their career journey. So I think this was the first time we felt something that actually fits right across what we do and really, really resonated with all of us.’

Anthony Rawlins: ‘we navigate our clients to where they want to go but also [Simon is] right. It's very good for the relevance of our team, you know, where do they want to go? What do they want to do with their lives? We need to provide that environment… because we only get one shot at this life. It's no rehearsal and I want everybody in this business to enjoy it as much as I do. Because that's what every individual deserves. But to do that, they need to see progress, and they need to see movement. Those are the people that we have here in this business. They're people that discover and move forward. So that’s why it works.’ 



With the accumulative experience of seventeen years going forward into this change and going live this week, Navigate is ready to take on a new direction and help others find theirs.