Branding is synonymous with any good business as it helps bring in consumers and attract possible clients. Branding in the design industry specifically is arguably the most important trait to master for any company or firm, considering the visual experiential emphasis that the industry carries. Thus, architecture firms need to understand all the different aspects of branding to ensure their design ideologies, language, schemes, and services are fully utilised to create a thriving business.
Today, with social media and the incredible reach of numerous online platforms, branding is more necessary than it used to be to survive in the design industry. Thriving through just recommendations and previous works is now becoming obsolete in this ocean of firms, architects, and designers showing that they can offer more to clients through their branding and social media presence. Patience and consistency are two of the most important traits that can help develop and elevate a good brand. One must take many slow and progressive steps to be successful as a brand in the design industry.
Self-evaluation before self-promotion.
Critical self-evaluation is the most important facet of branding in the design industry. Knowing one’s architectural language and style is key in catering to clients and an audience. Defining and replicating a signature style requires patience along with long hours of trial and error to hone it. It is also essential to set the scope of works those ideologies will cater to, be it residential development, commercial, or institutional, among many others that one should look to prioritise while creating a brand. It is impossible to satisfy every individual’s expectations. Thus, creating a coherent style and literature that stays true to oneself, replicable across actual projects sets the baseline for creating a brand as a familiar voice.
Understanding the audience and keeping track of competitors.
The visual importance of branding in the design industry can never be understated. Everyone perceives and prefers different visual outcomes. In architecture, some prefer residential development, while others prefer large-scale commercial projects. Likewise, some adore traditional vernacular architecture, while others welcome experimentation and technology. Ensuring that one’s style caters to their respective audience fully is the ideal way to create a good brand.
However, it is essential to understand that other competitors with relatively similar ideologies also cater to similar audiences. Before diving into the deep end, it is important to keep track of what the competitors are doing in this field and to ensure to do better. In many ways, keeping track of competitors helps one know what not to do for their brand, which is just as important as knowing what to do. While the general saying of not copying others always holds, emulating specific ideas or styles interpretatively from others can be highly beneficial in developing a brand, especially in the design and architecture industry.
Effective ideating to stand out.
After solidifying an architectural style and language, communicating that efficaciously to the audience is a crucial part of branding in the design industry. There are many ways to go about effective ideating for marketing, starting with the logo. There are several approaches, be it a minimalistic design that readily draws the viewer’s attention or a maximalist design that showcases what the firm or individual is about. It is important to ensure that the logo stays true to one’s ideologies and represents them well. A logo is the first impression of the work of a designer. Thus, much time and effort must be put into making it.
Colour schemes are another essential facet of effective ideation. It can help draw in different types of audiences and clients. Choosing the proper schemes by thoroughly understanding one’s audience is key to creating a successful brand. Colour schemes are also efficient in rebranding, especially for older practitioners and firms. It can reinvigorate ideologies that might have gone astray through time by giving the projects a new voice. The schemes can sometimes flow from branding ideations into actual architectural projects.
Utilising social media to the fullest
The vast outreach of social media and its overwhelming presence can be the most efficient tool to create an incredibly successful brand, especially in architecture. Many recent instances have been where a video or reel of a firm’s specific project amassed thousands of people to subscribe and watch it. Having a social media presence for a brand in the design industry is now a necessity than an option. Social media is a visual facilitator that communicates the culmination of one’s design ideologies, schemes, palettes, and projects that can bring in audiences and clients when done efficiently. In recent years, many firms have got their clients through direct contact from social media. Hence, it is crucial to be clear and committed to oneself regarding ideologies and the design intent to be showcased as a portfolio or template on social media.
Audience interaction and having a human touch to projects add significant value to one’s online presence. It shows a character that goes beyond just design and projects. But creating a good social media presence requires patience and consistency. It sometimes takes years to build a good portfolio on social media that can define one’s brand and consequently bring in an audience that can appreciate the hard work done.
Branding is for creating a long-term legacy.
BIG, Gensler, Zaha Hadid, AECOM, and DWP have established themselves as top successful architectural brands and businesses. They are companies and individuals that have understood and wholly utilised the different facets of branding while establishing their identity. Branding, however, is different from being famous or well-known. It is about creating a legacy that leaves a lasting impression. Establishing a brand in the design world is establishing one’s ideology, philosophy, voice, and stamp on it. When considering branding in the design industry, one must be in it for the long run. Through patience, consistency, and hard work, it is possible to create a long-lasting impression through a successful brand leaving behind a legacy that can be a benchmark for others to attain.
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