Spotlight: Cogent360 Offers a Different Kind of Multimedia Design Service

Digital media provides many opportunities for businesses to share their offerings with consumers. However, certain elements, like physical spaces and unique designs, are difficult to showcase with just photos and video content.

But that’s exactly where Cogent360 can help. Read about this unique offering and the company behind it in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.

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What the Business Does

Designs interactive digital media solutions.

Founder Dave Chace told Small Business Trends, “Cogent360 is a media design firm that creates interactive and immersive digital resources for the consumer electronics and home integration industries. The company incorporates groundbreaking technologies like virtual environments and 3D modeling to create sales enablement tools that revolutionize how organizations educate their sales channels and customers.”

Business Niche

Creating a truly compelling solution.

Chace says, “Our type of designs cannot be found anywhere else, from any other provider. We combine cutting-edge visual design with the science of instructional design to create one-of-a-kind experiences that help our clients educate their audience about their products and technologies. These include ultra-realistic, interactive 360° experiences such as virtual showrooms and experience centers, smart homes, and trade show spaces where viewers can explore, interact, and learn about countless product options and possibilities.”

Small Business Deals

Business Origin Story

Recognizing a void in the industry.

Chace explains, “I’d worked for a large company for many years, and decided I wanted to make my own decisions and determine my own fate. I had extensive experience, expertise, and contacts in the consumer electronics industry. And, having been a training director for much of my career, realized there was a significant opportunity to help manufacturers more effectively educate their sales channels about their products. Their methods were antiquated and costly. And I believed I could offer a more effective and cost-efficient solution.”

Biggest Win

Winning over a client from a larger competitor.

Chace says, “Early on, when the company was still just a one-person operation, a well-known industry manufacturer was contracting with our competitor—a larger, more established design firm. However, that contractor was charging the client a lot of money while actually doing very little. In fact, the client was unwittingly doing most of the work.

“I convinced the client it was more sensible to pay me to do all the work, instead of paying my competitor to do just some of it. Ultimately resulting in better quality results while freeing up their internal resources. They agreed and gave me the contract, which was the first “big time” deal I’d landed at that point. This was a pivotal turn of events. As the partnership gave us substantial exposure and credibility, and helped propel us to a much higher level.”

Biggest Risk

Getting started.

Chace adds, “I had no experience or roadmap for starting this kind of business. However, if the company failed, I had nothing to fall back on. Meaning, although I was married and we were financially stable at the time, I really didn’t want to do the same thing I’d been doing for years, or work for someone else. So, if the business didn’t succeed, I knew I’d be miserable in whatever job came next. This was a major motivating factor in making the business work. I had to either find a way to be successful at what I loved doing or be dismally unhappy in some other job.”

Lesson Learned

Don’t forget to market your offerings.

Chace explains, “It’s very easy to get mired in the production side of the business. But it’s equally if not more important to make sure the business pipeline remains robust. I would’ve made the business development side a higher priority early on and invested more in marketing and promotion to expand the pipeline and garner more clients, helping us grow faster in the first few years.”

How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000

Infrastructure and digital marketing.

Chace says, “With an extra $100,000, we’d add internal resources to help us expand our services into other vertical markets. Additional budget would also allow us to invest in SEO, bolstering social media, supporting creation of impactful, shareable content, boosting our brand visibility and catalyzing business growth.”

Favorite Quote

“Without setbacks, there wouldn’t be comebacks.”

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Find out more about the Small Biz Spotlight program

Image: Cogent360

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

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