Yesterday I completed the TCS NYC City Marathon, my 3rd after Berlin in 2015 and London 2016.
I have always had a strong entrepreneurial spirit and drive, built a business from scratch. The focus was too narrow and it hit me hard when back in 2010 I stood on the scales and stared at the 3 digit weight that deep down I had been ignoring but recognized at the same time. I was lacking energy to play with my kids, was loosing focus on my work and generally not feeling healthy. I decided to exercise and that day ran for 6 minutes which was such a horrible experience I nearly fainted and could not understand what people liked about the sport. One step of a 26 mile journey nearly stopped there but through the support of great friends who insisted I continue because they understood me and the sport and 6 minutes of trying was not fair to either of us. I persevered and started to enjoy.
I was travelling at least 2 weeks per month and packing tennis shoes became part of the routine. Running does not rely on weather, a sports facility when a street will do or someone to play against when you can be alone or joined by a like minded soul. It was certainly an efficient way for me to get back into sports; a great way to start a day and importantly, a focus on gaining back my health. It also allowed me to clear my head prepare me mentally for each day and gain quality time with family and friends.
The New York Marathon is one of the those “must do” and the build up to participating has not been without some trepidation being with thousands of personal achievers all with their own agendas for wanting to be on this great stage. It may be a 26 mile route but it is only possible because of the many unsung heroes behind the scenes who make it happen and set the scene for each runner to bathe in their own glory irrespective of where they finish.
My sense of achievement with the support of others is something much closer to home.
Today we launch our new brand and identity which has been over a year in the planning inspired by our people and accelerated by a passionate leadership team from all sides of the company, across 4 countries.
Just after the Rio Olympics we had merged with a like minded agency based in São Paulo, Brazil. The easy route, just like my 6 minute run, would have been to join the names in some way. However, to do so would have ignored all that was good in both companies, different skills that combined, would create enough stamina to run on and on. Your heart might be telling you to stop after those 6 minutes but your mind tells you otherwise and so were our people and this was confirmed by discreet conversations with loyal clients. When it comes to brands, passions run high but we took the route of working with a brand agency, outsiders, who could distill our ambitions with the reality of today, our dreams and a resulting business that would continue to be relevant to our clients but would provoke and push the boundaries.
We did the training and the through research undertaken by them indicated a new single brand. It was not just a name but it had to be something our teams would embrace especially as the current brands were strong and respected in their respective markets. It had to ring the changes. Our industry does not sit still and we had to be ahead of the race and make a difference. The time had come to fulfill the potential of a disruptive value proposition that joins both disciplines, destination management with brand activation under a common purpose. But it also had to reflect our biggest asset, our people and our provocative attitude, passion, diversity and creativity that comes from our talented teams.
What we do is often labeled as brand activation, destination management, experiential marketing or event services. Whatever the label, we now call it VOQIN’ . We believe the physical experience, enhanced by digital, is much more than simply communicating a marketing message. It’s about creating a feeling and driving an emotional response where experiences both personal and professional.
Our purpose is clear. As Voqers we have our sense of fun and the occasional rule bending but we are passionate about designing solutions and delivering experiences that provoqe meaningful emotions.
Diogo Assis, VOQIN’ CEO