Happy New Year! January is traditionally the time of resolutions, fresh starts, new gym memberships (and sore muscles), makeovers, and more.
In keeping with that grand tradition, I’ve decided it’s time to make it official. Imagine is changing its name. We’re becoming Lift Enablement!
First, let me be clear—we haven’t been acquired, nor have we acquired another company. We’ve had a bit of a growth spurt over the last few years and have simply outgrown the Imagine name. I believe Lift Enablement is a better description of what we actually accomplish for our clients.
I’ve been seriously thinking about this name change for quite a while now—about three years. As most people know, changing a company’s name is not something to be taken lightly. It involves new branding, an official roll-out, and an overhaul of almost every piece of collateral—digital, paper, etc.—in use. As the youth say nowadays, it’s a lot.
I founded Imagine in 2004 and it’s undergone many evolutions since then. As many people know, that’s the year I left Merrill Lynch, where I was a wealth management advisor—and where the name “Imagine” first came to me. About a year before I struck out on my own, I was working on a seminar about Merrill Lynch’s process. I had gotten feedback from clients that the result was peace of mind, security, and a lack of worry so they could focus on what they truly cared about. In other words, it forestalled their problems.
I had to communicate that in the seminar, and initially, I had something like, “Think about having an advisor that solves all your problems before you even know you have them.” However, that sentence wasn’t quite right.
That’s because “thinking” evokes work and stress. When I asked an informal focus group to think about the future, I realized from their responses that they were zeroing in on challenges and barriers. But when I asked people to imagine their future, they skipped over that part and just envisioned what was possible. That’s when I knew that when I started my own company, I’d name it Imagine.
But as I said, over the years, Imagine has evolved. In the beginning, we were focused on small businesses. We'd occasionally work with mid-market businesses, but entrepreneur-led businesses were our core specialty. As a matter of fact, for about the first five years, we enabled small businesses to hire their first salesperson.
During the past 19 years, our company has changed a lot—and so has the world. Revenue Operations is now a discipline. Our current client base consists of much larger companies; growth, for them, means something very different than it did for my initial clients.
Our approach has changed, too. We've moved to focus more specifically on structure and business process, and as a result, Imagine didn’t seem to “fit” as well as it once did. Our focus is much more on the science of growth and other methods to create predictability and control. That’s why we designed multiple frameworks like the DEALS Framework and the Revenue Acceleration Framework.
And that’s why Lift Enablement fits the “new” Imagine. After all, a structural approach to growth must focus on growing your audience at a faster rate, instead of simply viewing leads through the lens of who's ready to buy. The idea behind Bernoulli's Principle—which is the principle of lift that enables flight—is that the velocity of wind above the wing is greater than the velocity of the wind below the wing, which creates a vacuum that lifts the wings of an airplane.
From a customer acquisition revenue growth perspective, intent is the equivalent of the wing. For a business to grow, both the numbers of audience members and people engaging with you need to grow more than your number of customers. In turn, your rate of customers needs to increase faster than your revenue growth. All of this enables predictable revenue, predictable growth, and what I like to call “juice for the squeeze.”
I’ve been using lift as a metaphor for what we’re doing for about six years now. I liked this analogy for business because planes fly very consistently. They fly really fast. They’re not particularly dangerous, though of course, there’s some danger, as there is in most undertakings.
Lift Enablement fits us because we're enabling a structural approach that allows organizations to take advantage of their strengths and resources. They are able to eliminate drag, accelerate their flywheel and get more juice for the squeeze. I also feel like we’re now a completely different company than we were in 2004 and even three years ago, which is when the name change first started percolating.
Back then, I was discussing the concept of Bernoulli's principle and lift with Mike Donnelly, my cohost on our former show, The Black Line Podcast. He said, “Lift is what your company should be named!” At that point, the juice didn’t seem worth the squeeze, but I kept thinking about Lift as a name.
In an ideal world, I’d have changed the name to Lift about two years ago, because I feel like that’s when Imagine started to coalesce as a new and markedly different company. But it’s often hard to know you’ve crossed that threshold until you’re on the other side. Now I know, and in terms of the name change, the juice seems worth the squeeze.
The new year also seems like an appropriate time for a transformation. At Lift Enablement, we’ve fundamentally changed—more than a ‘90s teen movie heroine who just whips off her glasses and magically becomes The Most Popular Girl in School. (See, I can do more than just sports metaphors.)
We’re really excited about what lies ahead. We hope you are, too.