Discover Potential: Marketing Slogan or Belief?

MKT OR BELIEF BANNER - 08 05 14

“We help people to discover the untapped potential that exists in every home, business or organization, and use it to create designs which energize people, places and life”. That’s what we say in our marketing, and it’s a statement which resonates with me, and with people who know me well, particularly clients. However, a recent acquaintance and prospective client asked me if that was just a catchy marketing slogan or something that I really believed in.
It’s been a decades-long road to finding a simple way of communicating my design process, and the phenomenon we use to accomplish great things for our clients. Past attempts were wordy or had complicated explanations that never really connected with people. Often, these marketing explanations did more harm than good. But, what we do is more powerful than just conjuring up designs for people, because it comes from a place that’s unique and at the heart of each client. Yes, we design tangible things like, buildings, interiors and brands, but the process is the thing, and that differentiates us from many architects.
I’ve always avoided being labeled with a particular style or brand of design because our work is as varied as our clients. They are all unique individuals or organizations, and our design work reflects that. Early in my career I learned that the most successful designs and rewarding experiences came from a process of client interaction and information-gathering which uncovers the unique goals and needs of each client.
Do our photos of nicely designed projects look that much better than another firm’s photos of nicely designed projects? No, not really, but it’s the spirit that’s infused in them which makes them great, and the effect that it has upon the people is evident. It’s rewarding for me to see a company energized by their new headquarters, or individuals happy and comfortable in a home which truly reflects their personality and lifestyle. So, how do I clearly explain our process of design in a single sentence?
One day two years ago, I was talking with a long-time friend about my inability to express what I do for people. She looked me squarely in the eye and abruptly said, “Well you’re an architect and designer, so that’s fairly clear isn’t it?” That must have been the jolt I needed because suddenly the words just rolled out of my mouth, “I help people to discover potential”. My friend looked a bit startled at first, but paused thoughtfully and continued to stare at me. Then, with a reassuring smile she said, “You know…that’s exactly what you do, and that’s why you’re successful”.
We help people to discover potential, and that’s what we believe in!