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Entrepreneur SEEN

A New Kind Of Business Model

Published November 26, 2015 by

Upstart marketing firm stakes a claim in Detroit’s rebuilding.

By Matthew Totsky
Photography by Brett Mountain

When he founded the full-service advertising agency Rebuild Nation, Josh Gershonowicz knew he wanted to differentiate from his competitors with a fresh business model. His approach is to work with clients to address questions of strategy, analytics and research before the branding process begins.

“By avoiding the shotgun approach, Rebuild Nation is able to offer its clients an average of a four-to-one return on investment,” Gershonowicz says.

“When clients manage their own advertising, they don’t have a strategy about what works and what doesn’t. For us, we are always analyzing a project based on individual marketing mediums to get the best results. A strong focus on strategy is our philosophy and model, and we use that to maximize the ROI for our clients. And while we’re strong in traditional advertising approaches, our main focus is to take our clients from an off-line mentality to an online one.”

Rebuild Nation has tripled in size since its inception in 2012. The agency also has shown a strong commitment to talent through an investment in employee education, skill development and a fast-paced, but friendly environment. This commitment has proven very beneficial for their clients.

Rebuild Nation’s growing roster of clients includes Flame Heating and Cooling, Southfield Public Schools, Otsego Memorial Hospital, Detroit Masonic Temple, Bright Side Dental, Birmingham Chocolate, Gordon Advisors and Downtown Royal Oak.

They also work with several nonprofit clients including Jewish Senior Life, the Jewish Historical Society of Michigan and Veg Michigan.

“It’s important to help, and we can do that through our expertise,” Gershonowicz says. “We’re willing to take on projects for nonprofits to provide value and help with our strategic thinking and execution. That’s what we bring to the table.”

The agency offers a broad range of services, including custom websites, creative thinking, tailored strategies, unique designs and pinpoint search engine optimization (SEO).

Gershonowicz and his team also provide complimentary marketing audits for prospective clients. “We take the time to know your business before helping you grow,” Gershonowicz says. “I feel we’re a good fit for clients with $10 million to $100 million in revenue. But we’ll also take on clients that bill less as long as they have strong growth aspirations with a strong investment in advertising and marketing.”

Having started on the client side in the commodities industry, Gershonowicz has experience on both sides of the table, and he’s excited to work with colleagues who share the same philosophies.

“We’re all in this to build something great,” he says. “Our culture is important, and everyone here is on the same page. We’re prepared to take things to the next level, and we’re excited to be doing it in Detroit.”

Located on West Grand Boulevard in the New Center area Downtown, Rebuild Nation is deeply committed to supporting the rebirth of Detroit through advocacy, an investment in local talent, and sponsorships of local events and initiatives.

“One of the biggest things for us is an investment in the city,” Gershonowicz says. “And that starts with hiring talent and bringing more jobs to the city. In a short time, this will be a hot area for a business. We strategically positioned ourselves at this location — which will be the last stop on the M-1 Rail — for that reason.”

“We used to be in Royal Oak and that was great,” Gershonowicz continues. “But we felt that the energy and vibe here was too strong to ignore. We’re excited to contribute to the momentum of development in the city. The New Center is undergoing a transformation — almost overnight. People are coming back and there’s a long way to go, but the excitement is there. We can see and feel it every day — and that’s very inspiring.”

A graduate of Western Michigan University, Gershonowicz is also a graduate of Goldman Sachs’ 10,000 Small Businesses program, designed to help entrepreneurs create jobs and economic opportunity.

“Our work is never static, and I believe that helps us give our clients a leg-up on achieving increased profit and growth. I’m pleased with the way things are going so far.” NS

For more, visit http://rebuildnation.com.

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