Everyone loves the path of least resistance, the easiest way to go about something. Brands offer that ease. People tend to choose the option they feel most connected to and at ease with. Architecture and design and design firms can build that connection through a well-planned brand strategy.
A clearly defined business strategy is necessary to start. A business strategy is an outline that details a business’s goals and priorities. The business strategy is the motivation behind all the decisions made. It informs the brand strategy and, together with the brand, guides the marketing plan. All three strategies rely on a clear purpose and deep insight into the desired client.
Setting your firm apart is key to establishing a unique brand strategy. A brand strategy needs a clear message, informed targeting, an excellent product, and unique, memorable visuals, all driven by a defining purpose to stand out and demand attention.
Architecture and design firms can aid their growth by establishing awareness and proof of expertise in their market segment. By aligning its content with the brand’s message, a firm can connect its service with its target audience’s needs. Focus on collective storytelling that emphasises their values and showcases their speciality could help potential clients consider the firm when they require architectural and design services.
Consistent branding and good marketing are essential for growing architecture and design firms. This article focuses on the key components for developing a brand strategy for architecture and design firms.
A comprehensive brand strategy for architects and designers goes beyond product, logo, website, or name. This article discusses the essential components that will successfully communicate what sets the firm apart from its competitors.
Purpose and Goals
A strong brand strategy includes defining the purpose and core values of the business. The brand makes decision-making easier while helping people understand what the brand stands for and why they should pay attention.
To create an outline for the business’s journey and ensure that the brand sends out the correct message, the purpose, vision, values, and positive impact on the world should be well-defined.
Building the brand purpose and values around the target audience’s lifestyle and taste can promote emotional connection and client trust, guiding decision-making and instilling a feeling of harmony between the client and the brand. The brand’s purpose and values define the firm’s functions and should be clear and easy for staff and clients to understand.
Image 1_A strong brand strategy the purpose and core values of the business_RDNE, 2021
A strong, sustainable brand strategy markets the firm and supports the business’s long-term growth. The brand strategy of any firm aligns different sections of the business around its priorities. From increasing sales to creating better client relationships, the brand assists in reaching the clear business goals defined in the strategy. A well-thought-out brand strategy can help achieve long-term success, helping the firm progress from its current state well toward the desired future state.
Evaluating and constantly improving the client’s experience of the brand is crucial as it ensures client satisfaction, loyalty, and repeat clients. Making sure the business’s reality matches the brand’s promises enhances loyalty.
Brand Story and Connection
Just as people identify with celebrities and fictional characters based on their personality and background, the ideal desired clients of a firm can identify with a brand with an interesting, captivating story of origin and purpose.
The aim is to attract and charm clients from the first encounter with a brand. It should present a clear yet captivating sense of who works there, their values, and why clients should trust them to meet their needs. By clearly communicating the types of projects a firm specialises in, what their passion projects tend to be, and their unique staff story, clients will be more inclined to choose the firm.
Authentic and consistent storytelling is a formidable tool that combines emotion and data to create a narrative that engages audiences with a brand, reinforcing client recall at a later stage. Through emotional branding, a sense of community is created that aligns with the brand’s values and goals, and all the firm’s clients can feel like they belong to the larger group that the brand represents. By building on these emotional connections and relationships, loyalty is enhanced.
Regularly engaging, monitoring, and adapting stories shared with the target audience keeps architecture and design firms current and in mind.
Never lie or overpromise with the brand’s message. Success relies on delivering a positive experience with a firm that gives the client a valued solution through quality products and excellent authentic service.
To sustain a reputable brand, architecture and design firms must ensure their brand only offers what is achievable. Addressing problems as soon as they occur and delivering on brand promises while exceeding client expectations will establish a brand as trustworthy.
Aligning architecture and design firms’ actions and behaviours with their brand’s values and promises ensures the quality and value of the delivered results will result in a positive brand experience and loyalty. Exceeding the client’s expectations is always sure to be a winning strategy which will increase client trust and referrals.
Knowing who to aim at is important in setting up a brand strategy for architecture and design forms. The target audience needs to be researched and analysed to pique their interest in the brand.
Examining and gaining insights into the demographic groups with purchasing power and personality attributes that resonate with your ideal client audience. Identify the habits, interests, values, motivations, and decision-making processes that guide the chosen target. Adjust the brand to attract and connect with the ideal target audience, whose problems and issues the firm can address.
Knowing the needs, wants, expectations, and the target audience’s personality and cultural interests, the brand message can be shaped to attract the ideal clients. Based on the specific preferences of the firm’s desired audience, the brand’s message can be tailored to resonate with those genuinely interested in the firm’s services.
Brand Identity and Message
The brand message is the voice of the brand’s identity. It directly tells you what you need to know about the architecture or design firm that the brand that represents. It defines the intention, what the firm is capable of, and what makes them unique. The brand identity’s message should include the business’s core values, history, and contributions. Trust and credibility are formed through the brand message. The brand message addresses the client’s needs and goals while aligning the brand with the solution the client requires.
Portfolios and showcases of work are not enough to market a firm in the current architecture and design market. Architecture and design firms can use their unique qualities, personality, and values to better stand out from their competitors by creating an appealing identity and message highlighting the brand’s values.
The brand identity portrayed through the brand message consistently enhances the brand’s awareness while establishing the firm as a trustworthy and reliable establishment. The message should always be authentic to enhance the firm’s value to the target audience.
Visual Identity and Personality
Just as prospective actors need to present headshots to be considered for an audition for a role in a production, so too do architecture and design firms need to attract attention and interest through their visual identity and personality.
A brand strategy must have a section that outlines the visual identity and markers of the brand. A guideline should be set up to clearly define the elements needed for maintaining a consistent visual identity. The elements to be considered are as follows:
- A thoughtful name,
- A memorable, striking logo that is easily scalable with high visibility,
- A limited colour palette that sets the mood and personality of your brand,
- Appropriate, legible typography, making use of complementary fonts,
- Establish a theme for images and graphic material used,
- Use high-quality photography, illustrations, and icons.
Consistency is key when setting up a visual identity and personality to stand out and create brand awareness. Ensuring harmonious typographic hierarchy and imagery, identical social profiles throughout the platforms, and consistent graphic elements helps to establish a unified brand identity.
As with any design program, observing and examining other designers’ actions is essential for remaining current and current with trends and changing preferences. Taking competitive brand strategies as challenges to improve your brand strategy can greatly value your brand’s overall success.
You can compare and adjust your firm’s brand by keeping an eye on competitors, analysing and observing their strategies and deciding what works or fails. However, as essential as it is to stay in tune with the competition, never let it all dictate your brand’s fundamental purpose and mission statement. An architecture and design and design firm’s unique brand keeps it in business. Otherwise, if differentiation is lost, the business could fail.
Brand awareness refers to how memorable a business and its offerings are to people. A website is insufficient to draw in ideal clients and increase online visibility as a service or product provider. For architects and designers, engaging with the audience and establishing relationships are crucial for building brand awareness and gaining trust.
An effective strategy for brand awareness is to generously provide value without asking for anything in return. By sharing knowledge and being genuinely helpful, strong relationships can be built, and the firm can be established as an expert in their field. This long-term approach creates the “know, like, and trust” factor influencing clients’ decisions.
Improving brand awareness requires consistently combining a clear message and strong visuals with a targeted marketing strategy. A consistent, bold visual, like a logo or specific image, accompanied by a clear message, can increase the presence of a firm in the minds of ideal clients. It may take multiple impressions before someone recognises a brand, but a greater impact can be made with consistency.
Website and Online Presence
A well-designed website is essential for an architecture and design firm’s online presence. It should create a positive impression, provide crucial information, and appeal to potential clients. A good website is easy to navigate and showcases services and benefits. While it looks professional on all devices, it has clear contact information that can easily be found. Containing relevant and keyword-rich content, architecture and design firms can be placed as industry experts. A strong website and online presence help establish and nurture relationships with potential clients.
A website is one of the most important branding assets because it showcases the business, demonstrating how you can help the targeted audience. Build trust through social evidence like reviews and testimonials, and highlight the capabilities and core values of the firm. By adding a blog and search engine optimisation, a website can help to provide improved communication.
To grow an audience and generate quality leads, consistently share valuable content related to the core brand message. Expand upon the brand message, providing deeper insights and setting a standard for architecture and design firms’ brand value and actions. These useful insights will help the target market recognise the brand and develop a relationship over time. Ensure the content relates to the message and ends with a direct offer of the provided design services, providing genuine value to the audience.
Social Media Presence
Branding for architects and designers requires a strong social media presence as clients search for design inspiration online. Social media marketing (SMM) enables architects and designers to convey their brand message and portfolio in real time. Before starting SMM, determine where your target clients are active on social media. Ensure your presence is alluring without repetition, and engage with followers on one platform before expanding to others. Manage a dynamic social media presence to establish your brand, raise awareness, and drive sales while promptly replying on platforms to enhance branding efforts.
Engage with the audience consistently to build brand awareness and trust. Ask for feedback to improve and make an impact. Respond directly to audience members for better brand recall. Actively engage and adapt to foster connections and enhance the brand image.
Align your brand strategy with digital platforms to showcase your brand effectively and achieve business growth. A strong social media presence is vital for architects’ and designers’ branding. Platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Houzz, Facebook, and LinkedIn are crucial for reaching and engaging key possibilities. Consider various marketing platforms but avoid spreading yourself too thin. Base your choices on your target audience’s preferences and behaviours.
It’s important to make it easy for clients to share positive feedback and become brand ambassadors, to establish trust and promote your firm. Instead of waiting until the project is completed, ask for reviews during key stages of the architectural design process and construction when clients are most satisfied. Collecting quotes, creating videos, and gathering testimonials at these high points will help you create authentic content for your website, social media, and presentations. Include a review request in your project wrap-up process, such as sending an email with a link to your Google or Facebook business page. This client validation can build trust and attract prospects with similar needs.
When developing your architecture and design business, start by setting clear goals, identifying your target audience, and crafting your brand story. Create a visual style and brand identity that align with your narratives. Consistency is crucial for brand recognition, so ensure your employees are well-versed in communicating with clients and representing your brand effectively. Zappos, known for its exceptional client service, holds all its employees to core values to achieve a strong reputation.
If you have loyal clients who love your company and act as brand ambassadors, rewarding and cultivating their loyalty is essential. Express gratitude through personalised letters, special gifts, and unique gestures that align with your brand identity. Building loyalty among existing clients generates repeat business and supports your sales organisation, as positive relationships with clients set the tone for potential clients considering your services.
If a good business strategy exists, a brand strategy can be set up to market the architecture or design firm and lead it to grow. By focussing on the purpose and goals of the brand based on the values and intention of the business, a brand strategy can be set up that even has a section for long-term growth.
An authentic brand story that makes an emotional connection with the brand’s target audience can set up a brand that offers promises and targets the ideal client with whom to build a sustainable connection of trust and loyalty.
A strong, memorable, and trustworthy brand identity with a defined and regulated visual identity can spread the message of the brand’s values and capabilities to least in the minds of people who encounter it.
By spreading brand awareness and keeping an eye on competitive firms and brands, the brand can grow and become a strong tool for architecture and design firms.
Brand awareness and identity can be shared worldwide by ensuring a consistent online presence on the firm’s website and social media platforms. Returning and loyal customers and staff become brand ambassadors when a firm exceeds expectations and delivers valuable results.
In the end, though, it all comes down to consistency. Keep doing what you can. It’ll work out.
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- A strong brand strategy the purpose and core values of the business. (RDNE, 2021)
RDNE Stock project (2021). Text · Free Stock Photo. Pexels. Pexels. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/handwritten-marketing-exit-notebook-7414050/ [Accessed 25 Jun. 2023].
- A well-thought-out brand strategy can help achieve long-term success. (Niaogebiji.com, 2023)
Niaogebiji.com (2023). Brand. Niaogebiji.com. Available at: https://qnssl.niaogebiji.com/3d11d2b7fba399694b50fb36d1c589a5.png [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- People identify with a brand with an interesting, captivating story of origin and purpose. (Bennett, 2021)
Bennett, R. (2021). a notebook, pen, eyeglasses, and a cup of coffee on a. Unsplash.com. Unsplash. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/Z5JJifMtbCo [Accessed 25 Jun. 2023].
- To sustain a reputable brand, brands should only offer what is achievable. (Womanizer Toys, 2020)
Womanizer Toys (2020). persons hand with white manicure. [online] Unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/8oB43mw658c [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- Adjust the brand to attract and connect with the ideal target audience. (SHVETS production, 2021)
SHVETS production (2021). Crop unrecognizable female psychologist and patient discussing mental problems during session · Free Stock Photo. Pexels. Pexels. Available at: https://www.pexels.com/photo/crop-unrecognizable-female-psychologist-and-patient-discussing-mental-problems-during-session-7176319/ [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- The brand message is the voice of the brand’s identity. (Mozhvilo, (2021)
Mozhvilo, E. (2021). white and black greeting card. Unsplash.com. Unsplash. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/Bx0fC39EUaw [Accessed 25 Jun. 2023].
- Consistency is key when setting up a visual identity and personality. (McLittle Stock, 2020)
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- You can compare and adjust your firm’s brand by keeping an eye on competitors. (Kim, 2022)
Kim, S. (2022). a couple of blue and red mailboxes. [online] Unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/zmQe62UUxvU [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- By sharing knowledge and being genuinely helpful, strong relationships can be built. (Regan-Asante, 2020)
Regan-Asante, S. (2020). text. [online] Unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/JjlkGAc4OUM [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- To grow an audience and generate quality leads, consistently share valuable content related to the core brand message. (Thewowstyle.com, 2023)
Thewowstyle (2023). Email-marketing. [online] Thewowstyle.com. Available at: https://www.thewowstyle.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Email-marketing.jpg [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- Align your brand strategy with digital platforms to showcase your brand effectively and achieve business growth. (3DExport LLC, 2018)
3DExport LLC (2018). social media icons 3D Model in Other 3DExport. 3DExport. Available at: https://3dexport.com/3dmodel-social-media-icons-206857.htm [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- If you have loyal clients who love your company and act as brand ambassadors, rewarding and cultivating their loyalty is essential. (Sison, 2018)
Sison, R. (2018). man and boy wearing black and red curl wig and smiling. [online] Unsplash.com. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/axDmBtDyV18 [Accessed 2 Jul. 2023].
- In the end, though, it all comes down to consistency. Keep doing what you can. It’ll work out. (Brands&People, 2021)
Brands&People (2021). yellow and white labeled can. Unsplash.com. Unsplash. Available at: https://unsplash.com/photos/0adHvNJu-Zo [Accessed 25 Jun. 2023].