How the Fragile to Agile team hone their message through market research

In 2021, Fragile to Agile commissioned Square Holes to conduct a thorough research project to explore customer understanding and experiences in relation to their specific field.

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The Fragile to Agile senior team. L to R Steve Cutbush (Principal Architect), Glenn Smyth (Founder & CEO and Chief Architect), Dean Littlefield (Manager, Business Development & Company Secretary) and Warren Fenn (Chief Operating Officer).
How can Square Holes help?
How can we help?

As an Australian owned, independent Enterprise Architecture and Solution Architecture business, Fragile to Agile wanted to understand current market perceptions and expectations of the service they provide.

For Fragile to Agile Chief Operating Officer, Warren Fenn, that boiled down to two main asks – one focused on branding, the other on messaging.

“We had a couple of very difficult questions… one was around our identity and name, and the market research was informative. It told us that people were really sitting on the fence,” says Fenn.

“While we decided to retain the brand, it did give us some good insights and ideas on how we might evolve the name while staying connected to the original concept.”

The second ask was around how Fragile to Agile promote their services to potential and existing clientele, as well as how they stack up against major competitors.

“The other big insight is how we communicate with our clients. All the people involved in the market research indicated that we need to get better at explaining what we do and describing our services in a simpler, more straightforward way. It’s given us a laser focus on how we develop our service descriptions, how we pitch ourselves in sales proposals, and also in the way we deliver,” says Fenn.

How can Square Holes help?
How can we help?

Much of the issue for Fragile to Agile is consumer confusion around what Enterprise Architecture is, and how the company can streamline clients’ systems so they can remain adaptable, flexible and responsive.

“We have some compelling stories that explain our key services and where we fit in but, because our consulting services are so complex, people generally assume that we’re just IT or technology,” says Fenn.

“When in fact we’re a blend of business, technology and people working seamlessly together.”

Warren says that, while the company has their own assumptions about how they were viewed in the industry, the breadth of the research has enabled the team to move forward with confidence.

“We had assumed we knew certain things based on a small amount of feedback and interaction from people, but this research really widened the net. The evidence was there that we needed to focus on simplification – and that gave us the confidence to act,” says Fenn.

“It was beneficial in the sense of getting the information confirmed and from a wider sort of net and scope.”

Jason Dunstone, Founder and Managing Director of Square Holes says, “This is the power of thorough market research – being able to drill down into specific topics from a third-party perspective, with a select target group. We look forward to continuing to work with the team at Fragile to Agile to track the changes in market and client perceptions so that they can remain agile and responsive in their mission to expand their business.”

In light of the information gleaned from the first Square Holes report, Warren says the company will now be committing to annual or bi-annual studies in order to stay abreast of any developments or changes in consumer perceptions.

“I think it gives us an edge in terms of reaching and resonating with our audience. We are now able to do the right things to address our critical marketing issues,” says Fenn.

“I think it’s something important that we need to do regularly, so that we keep a finger on the pulse in terms of how our competition is behaving and how our clients, past, present or missed opportunities, view us.”

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