Clients often hire us and we don’t design any­thing. They sim­ply want strate­gic advice on mar­ket­ing, brand­ing or social media. Usu­ally this begins with an audit and rec­om­men­da­tions. From there, we can help you develop a plan. You wouldn’t cre­ate a build­ing with­out a plan. You shouldn’t run your busi­ness with­out plans either.

We believe that all AEC firms should have a 3–5 year Strate­gic Plan and a 1-year Mar­ket­ing Plan. We strongly believe that firms need to write these plans them­selves, with guid­ance from a con­sul­tant, or they won’t get imple­mented. For the same rea­son that doc­tors aren’t allowed to oper­ate on them­selves (too painful/too much bias), we believe you need objec­tive guid­ance through the strate­gic and mar­ket­ing plan­ning process.

Strate­gic Plan
Pur­pose: why your firm exists
Vision: where your firm is headed
Val­ues: how your firm will get there (core beliefs)
Tar­get: who will join you (tar­get market/s)
Posi­tion­ing: why they will join you (unique value propo­si­tion)
SWOT Analy­sis

Mar­ket­ing Plan
Mar­ket­ing Mix of which vehi­cles you will use to help you reach your goals
Who in the firm will take respon­si­bil­ity for each mar­ket­ing tac­tic

Our Build­ing an AEC Brand Map below illus­trates the rela­tion­ship between Strate­gic Plans and Mar­ket­ing Plans. Down­load the PDF

Guid­ance with Strate­gic Plan­ning, Mar­ket­ing Plan­ning, or Social Media Plan­ning typ­i­cally requires a $5k–$10k investment.

Com­pet­i­tive Audit
All pro­fes­sional ser­vice firms face the risk of per­ceived com­modi­ti­za­tion. The rem­edy is clear dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion with ben­e­fits offered to your tar­get mar­ket.  To dif­fer­en­ti­ate your firm, you need to have an informed under­stand­ing of your competition.

First, we iden­tify 3–5 com­peti­tors in your key mar­kets. Then we work with you to clar­ify 8–10 dif­fer­en­tia­tors that we will use to audit your com­pe­ti­tion. We return analy­sis and rec­om­men­da­tions for dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties. Then we help you rank these oppor­tu­ni­ties to decide what to lead with.

Brand Audit
Your brand is the cumu­la­tive effect of all your brand touch points. It’s not your logo, name, adver­tis­ing, thought lead­er­ship and web­site. It’s all these things and more. We’ve devel­oped 57 brand touch points that deserve analy­sis in our Brand Audit. We rec­om­mend that clients audit their 57 brand touch points while we do the same. Then we have a lively dis­cus­sion about dif­fer­ences and rec­om­men­da­tions on what to fix.

Many believe that your brand isn’t what you say it is, but that your brand is what prospec­tive clients believe about your firm. Often there is a gap between how we per­ceive our­selves and real­ity. The Brand Audit offers an optional Brand Per­cep­tion Sur­vey where we inter­view or sur­vey employ­ees, clients, prospec­tive clients and indus­try leaders.

Per­form Your Own Brand Review
A great way to start is to self assess using our Brand Review Work­sheet. Down­load the PDF and begin to dis­cover the strengths and weak­nesses of your brand.