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 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.
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)
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 or Marketing Planning typically requires a $5k–$10k investment.
All professional service firms face the risk of perceived commoditization. The remedy is clear differentiation with the value it offers potential clients. 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.
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 Audit
A great way to start is to self assess using our Brand Audit Worksheet. Download the PDF and begin to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your brand.