How To Brand Your Process

As Pro­fes­sional Ser­vice Mar­keters, we have the chal­lenge of per­suad­ing prospects to pur­chase some­thing that doesn’t exist. Prospects can­not “test drive” their future multi-million dol­lar build­ing. Sure, you can show past projects, but that doesn’t guar­an­tee future suc­cess. Espe­cially if the project incor­po­rates new technology.

The solu­tion to this dilemma is to have a unique project deliv­ery process that demon­strates your abil­ity to solve prob­lems and deliver suc­cess­ful projects. This com­mu­ni­cates to the prospec­tive client, “we don’t know all the answers to the ques­tions your project may present. But, we have a proven process that con­sis­tently allows us to find the right answers.” By show­ing how you’ve helped other clients with your unique process, you put the prospect at ease, and you dif­fer­en­ti­ate your firm from your competition.

1. Process Defined
Process is sim­ply your project deliv­ery method span­ning from ini­tial meet­ing through the life cycle of the building.

2. Why Brand Your Process?
There are many rea­sons to make your process a per­sua­sive tool to con­vince clients to select your firm. First, ser­vices like Archi­tec­ture, Engi­neer­ing, and Con­tract­ing are sim­ply a promise. So, we need to empathize with the scary leap of faith our clients make in entrust­ing us to deliver on our promise. A proven process helps to soothe client fears dur­ing the emo­tional sales cycle. Also, process is an oppor­tu­nity to dif­fer­en­ti­ate you from your com­pe­ti­tion. Process is scal­able and can be imple­mented at firms sized from 1–1000 to rein­force brand con­sis­tency across all branch offices. Finally, process is an asset that can live beyond the found­ing prin­ci­pals of your firm. This can add value in the event of own­er­ship tran­si­tion, merger or acquisition.

3. Develop, Artic­u­late and Brand℠ Your Process
Begin with list­ing the var­i­ous steps your firm goes through to suc­cess­fully com­plete a project. Deter­mine all the key check­points for qual­ity assur­ance. As you make this list, fil­ter it through the posi­tion­ing of what makes your firm unique. In other words, don’t focus on things that every­one else does. Work with a writer or brand com­mu­ni­ca­tions firm to artic­u­late your process in a way that is sim­ple and com­pelling to a prospec­tive client. Then brand it with a mem­o­rable name and even reg­is­ter it as a ser­vice mark. Our process, called The Joy of Six, is described in greater detail here.  I rec­om­mend a cir­cu­lar process to close the loop by mea­sur­ing results of the com­pleted project. This informs an improved next project and hope­fully get you re-hired.

4. Demon­strate How Your Process Yields Suc­cess
When meet­ing with prospec­tive clients, don’t just show a port­fo­lio of com­pleted projects. Demon­strate how you reach suc­cess­ful results by pre­sent­ing high­lights of each project phase in the con­text of your newly branded process. Show sketches, talk about over­com­ing chal­lenges, and share how intel­li­gence gained in one project phase informs suc­cess in the next. When a prospect sees how your process deliv­ers on past promises, it plants the seed of future suc­cess in in that prospect’s mind.

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