Taking your game to the next level takes "next level thinking". It's not enough just to work harder, you actually have to begin operating in the mindset of the level in which you wish to operate. In architecture and engineering that means that if you want larger projects and more exposure you must reach a larger audience by creating opportunities for them to recognize you.
Marketing cannot be an afterthought anymore. Traditionally, putting an ad in the local trade magazines and getting a Yellow Pages listing was enough to guarantee some business got directed to your door. In the digital age these methods are not enough. Potential customers are perceptive, and intelligent, and these days they want to do some legwork before choosing a professional to work for them. This means that a phone number and a list of services is the beginning, not the end, of marketing. As a company, Architectural & Engineering Design Associates strives to be the first and last place people look for architecture and engineering (and we’d like to be everywhere in between as well).
I'm not going to fully outline AEDA's marketing strategies nor am I going to outline how we attract business because frankly I don't need to help out the "competition". Instead, I want to talk a little about identity (which I suppose will help the competition anyway, but if they're not doing this yet, I think they have bigger worries).
What is identity when we talk about architecture and engineering? Certainly design work can be a way that a company establishes its identity. However design is usually an eclectic mix of different styles that reflect the customer's desire as much as the firm's work. It isn't always easy to recognize the designer by the building. We aren't all Frank Gehry. However, identity is still important. In concert with marketing strategies, identity is the most important thing a design firm must create following the actual design work itself.
Over the past fifteen-plus months AEDA has begun to create a more recognizable and professional identity. This includes all of the ways in which the customer interacts with us. Our correspondence, our drawing sets and construction documents, our advertising and website and even our business cards are aligning into a unified identity. We want our business to be recognizable across the spectrum of contact and communications in order that when people see us, they know us. And just as individual identity evolves, so too must a corporate identity.
Our website is a great example. We don't see our website as a static document, but rather as a living and evolving entity that showcases our company as we grow in success. We want people to see what we do, and see it as we do it. Cross promoting on social media, AEDA can make quick updates, while when bigger things manifest we can update the website. Using a multitude of communication techniques helps us to create a wider identity as we promote new projects and design work. In certain instances we even want people to be able to delve deeply into specific projects to understand how we think about our design and our method.
We've been busy this year so far and a lot of that has to do with our new marketing efforts and the identity we're creating. We will continue to refine our identity so that our customers can make the most informed decision when seeking out design professionals. We will continue to do this in order to give you the clearest picture of who we are, what we do and how we can work for you.
We hope to hear from you soon.