All companies say a rebrand is more than just an identity. They say that it’s an evolution of their mission and opening up the next chapter. Well, for us, that’s actually true.
But first, let’s set the stage.
The past two years have been extremely hard on all of our mental health. At the same time, therapy has become vastly more common. From ads on top podcasts to celebrities sharing what therapy has done for them, therapy is very much in vogue.
Although marking its importance, the therapy industry itself hasn’t evolved in the ways we’d expect. Sure, there are more apps now and virtual care is the norm, but the actual process of finding a good therapist and undergoing treatment is not representative of where it should be and how it should look. Finding a good therapist without a waitlist is hard. Getting matched with the right therapist is even harder. Finding a therapist that’s part of a bigger practice that does more for its clients than just providing sessions… well, that’s pretty rare.
The business side of the industry, as a whole, has become increasingly focused on transactions rather than relationships — especially with so many therapy startups and tons of investment flooding our space.
Then there’s something else. Wellness coaches and gurus are popping up everywhere. While there are some legitimate ones with niche focuses, many are selling the dream of immediate betterment without the ability to deliver. We hear horror stories from clients to put this into perspective.
Defining what feeling better means and reaching it isn’t a quick fix. It’s a process.
In late 2016, we started Shift to make therapy simple, relatable, and actionable. We brought on talented therapists and served our clients from our little office in downtown Toronto. Then COVID hit, and it was initially pretty scary. Virtual care was suddenly the norm. We found ourselves competing with goliaths like Better Help and TalkSpace, as well as with other practices that too were pivoting to 100% virtual care.
We knew we couldn’t compete with them by building a fancy app or by spending more than them on advertising, so we adopted a simple principle: Focus on great therapy above all else. Our only path was to find the best therapists possible, and make sure they’re set up to do their best work so that they can take amazing care of our clients.
Fortunately, it worked. Today, we have just over 100 therapists across Canada and more than 5,000 clients at any given time. Beyond the clients that come to Shift, we proudly provide all of the counselling sessions on Maple and the PC Health app. Additionally, we are the go-to therapy practice for many small and medium-sized businesses who are sick of their EAP provider.
As we grew, establishing what we believe in became more important. We doubled down on investing in our culture, celebrating our guiding principles internally, and creating an environment where our people (and, by extension, our clients) could thrive.
So a year ago, we began the process of pulling apart our evolution that had been happening internally and making it external. This is where our rebrand comes in.
We do that by focusing on providing great therapy and helping our clients become better humans (what ‘better’ means to them is up to them). That’s why our new slogan is “Great therapy. Better humans.”
Let’s unpack this a bit.
Great therapy is there when you need it. Great therapy opens up new ways to see yourself in your life. Great therapy means coming back to therapy whenever you need it, even if it’s with a different therapist, as you encounter challenges in your life.
But there’s more to it. Great therapy isn’t enough in and of itself, it’s about how therapy builds each of us.
One thing that brings our clients and team together is the desire for betterment and we believe therapy is key to finding it. In our good times, therapy is a way to nurture our emotional growth. In our confusing times, it’s a way to gain understanding and skills. Even in our hardest moments, we go to therapy because there’s still a faint optimism that things can be different in our lives.
The thing about being ‘better’ is that there’s no shared definition – nor should there be. Better is subjective. It changes day-to-day. It’s relative. It’s non-linear. It takes time. But the idea of there being a better future gives us courage and hope — it makes us human, hence better humans.
We have refined how we work together as a team to deliver on this. Here are some of the ways:
This is how the idea of “Great therapy. Better humans.” has and will continue to shape us.
Visually, we wanted to create something that would be both beautiful and would age well. We teamed up with SaevilRow, an incredible design firm based out of Australia, over the past 8 months. Our rebrand is a recognition that better means making a change or a tweak, not reinventing yourself or losing who you are. Sometimes this process is linear, but often it's not. Sometimes it means embracing contrasting ideas, but sometimes not. Sometimes it’s simple and other times it’s complex. Our visual identity celebrates this delicate pattern and feels more like the team we want to be.
The bottom line for us is surprisingly simple. We’re creating more than a therapy company. We’re on a mission to help our clients redefine what better means to each of them. It's a long road, and we're here for it.
Shift’s next-generation starts now. We can’t wait to see where it takes us.
Jordan & Megan
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