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Business Focus: More than computers
GSU students assist local company with rebranding
122007 BIZ COMPUTERS
David Rogers of Georgia Technologies, formerly South Georgia Computer Solutions, works on the server at the Statesboro Regional Library. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Three marketing students at Georgia Southern University have been instrumental in the re-branding of an established Georgia company, changing its name, its look, and its Web site to reflect the company’s growing list of clients and offerings.
On New Year’s Day, Statesboro-based South Georgia Computer Solutions (SGCS) will become Georgia Technologies, Inc., reflecting months of hard work by the students, their professor, and the principals of SGCS.
     “When SGCS contacted the Center for Retail Studies, they explained that they were no longer serving only south Georgia, but had developed a national client database, including NASA,” said Kathleen Gruben, associate professor of marketing and director of the Center for Retail Studies in Georgia Southern’s College of Business Administration. “They were looking for help in developing a new face for the company. I asked three hard-working and capable students to take this project and run with it, and the result has been phenomenal.”
     The three students selected by Gruben were marketing majors Ashley Ferguson, Amy Kirkland, and Kandayce Lee.
     “We completed this project as a special topics class, so we each earned college credit for our work,” said Lee, who graduated in December. “We began by planning what we needed to do which included market research, what research methods we’d use, and meetings with clients.”
    SGCS co-owner David Rogers said several months ago, he and his partners agreed it was time for a change.
    “We had talked about hiring an outside marketing firm to help us, but Joseph (Eason) knew Dr. Gruben, and they struck up a conversation about re-branding our company,” Rogers said. “Things began to happen from there. Everything has worked out really well.”
    Rogers said SGCS had outgrown its name as it no longer reflected the scope of services that the company offered.
    “Our name implied that we only worked with computers and only in south Georgia,” he said. “That isn’t true anymore. In addition to the service, repair, and maintenance of computers, we do network administration, install and maintain phone systems, and install and maintain ‘voice over IP’ systems. We have a much broader offering than our ‘soon-to-be’ old name implies.”
    The company’s new image will include the name change, new signage, a new logo,  new rate schedule, and reconfigured website. Rogers is particularly proud of the company’s new name and logo.
    “We aren’t just a computer technology company anymore,” he said. “We are a technology company, and I think the name Georgia Technologies reflects that.”
    The process of re-branding the company took several months involving many steps. The students started by making phone calls to clients and asking a dozen pre-determined survey questions. From those questions, they found that the company’s name did not reflect its activities.
    “These marketing students surveyed our clients, gave us fresh ideas, and really opened our eyes on the need for a new look,” said Joseph Eason, vice president of customer relations.
    Lee said the overall effort involved more than just her partners. “Dr. Gruben allowed us to assign part of our project to her advertising class,” Lee explained.  “They helped us out by brainstorming brands, slogans, and logos, to help us out with a new look. With their help, we took the company to a more modern look in its web and advertising presences.”
     Ferguson, Kirkland, and Lee suggested a video for the Georgia Technologies web site (www.georgiatechnologies.com) to explain the name change to long-time customers.
 “They (the students) gave us lots of concepts to work on, and we think the changes they created will be beneficial,” Eason said. “When we saw their final presentation, we knew they had had done a great job.”
    SGCS was founded in 1999. Located on Zetterower Avenue in Statesboro, SGCS’s headquarters have undergone a recent renovation in preparation for the name change.

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