Branding for architects is not just about a beautifully designed logo. When it comes to promoting your architecture firm, a distinctive brand is essential to communicate what makes your business unique and different.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR FIRM STRATEGICALLY
Brand success for architectural offices begins with clear goals. A simple way to set your brand goals is to figure out where you are now and where you want to be in a year, three years, and five years. Whether you are growing your own business or have a position with an established company, first determine what projects you want to add to your portfolio. What skills and knowledge would you like to develop? If you are the owner or senior manager of an architecture firm, you want to identify goals and understand your company’s success. Is your goal to become a big company or do you want to make a name for yourself as a boutique company? Would you like more local projects, or would you like to focus on a specific type of project but expand to work in multiple locations? With this information, you can estimate the value and number of new customers you need to acquire, as well as the staff you will need to handle new projects and maintain profitability. Understanding who your ideal target audience is and who isn’t is critical to a successful architectural branding strategy. It’s not enough to hope that the right customer finds your services. Hope is not a marketing strategy. To find your customers you need to present yourself to the best audience based on knowledge, experience, and the services you offer. If you want to grow and grow your brand, it’s just as important to narrow down your target audience. You need to be as specific as possible to figure out who your brand needs to engage with. Once you know your goals and audience, you’re ready to create a brand to market. A brand is more than a logo! Ideally, you want to create branded customers who fall in love at first sight. A brand that gives them an idea of what it’s like to work with you and what your company values. Make it clear what kind of projects your company handles. Once potential customers see your site, it should be clear what type of architecture you specialize values. Make interests you? Why do you do what you do and why do you love certain projects? If you can create a brand story and messages that express your vision and values, you can easily reflect that in everything you do, including marketing and customer communications. Your brand story plays an important role in attracting your best possible customers. The next step is to work on creating your brand’s visual identity. While you might start with a logo and colour palette, your visual identity extends to your website, portfolio, business cards, signs, presentations, pitches – anything that represents your architecture firm. Your logo should also reflect professionalism and be easy to remember. Think of your logo as the face of your company. It pays to invest in a professionally designed, one-of-a-kind logo. When you value the future of your business enough to invest in it, people can tell the difference. It’s tempting to delve into the alphabet soup of architecture firm logos. What if you looked beyond monogram logos and tried something different? Make sure your portfolio consists of high-quality photos. Set a look for your portfolio images that not only reflects your brand but also makes it easier for you to inform photographers so you always get great project images. Despite all the investment and value of quality residential and commercial space, it is shocking to see how many architects and builders are willing to cut corners and skimp on photography. Nothing can lessen the impact and perceived value quite like a poor-quality photo with poor composition, insufficient lighting, etc. High-quality images reflect the value you place on your own business and make it more attractive for customers to invest in your services. Your website may be a prospect’s first encounter with your architecture firm. You want to make sure that your brand is well represented on your website and that the website gives an accurate and compelling first impression of your business. Six essential elements of any good website: Be easy to navigate, not overwhelming or confusing. Make it clear what you are doing and why it is important to them. Have a clear and quick way to get in touch with you. Be professionally designed, built to look good, and work properly on all devices (Mobile Responsive Design). provides relevant, timely, and keyword-rich content. Include updated security settings. Despite all the efforts you put into building your architecture firm’s brand, consistency will help you achieve maximum impact and long-term value from your brand. Brand guidelines help you maintain a clear brand style. Sticking to your branding guidelines can help you stand out from the crowd, whether you’re a solo architect or run a large corporation. Establish a process alongside these branding guidelines to ensure your portfolio and website remain current and consistent with your brand. When changes happen in your company, make sure they are reflected on your website, resume, or business cards. When you devote the same attention to detail to the brand that you devote to your design and project management work, your clients – and potential clients – will see and appreciate that professionalism.
- Online sources
- McCartney, B. (2023) Branding for architects, Archmark. Available at: https://www.archmark.co/branding-for-architects (Accessed: 13 June 2023).
- Foundation skills/welcome and course introduction/your expectations (no date) WikiEducator. Available at: https://wikieducator.org/Foundation_Skills/Welcome_and_course_introduction/Your_expectations (Accessed: 13 June 2023).