It’s funny where inspiration comes from, and how one part of life can parallel another.
A good friend of mine told me something, halfway in jest, within the first few months of knowing him. He said that he was confident that no one could beat him in all five sports of his personal Heptathlon. His Heptathlon includes:
- Table Tennis (his words, I say Ping Pong)
- Disc Golf
While one or two of those is questionable to include in a list of sports, I won’t begrudge him his Heptathlon. Instead I’ll move on to my point. He is sure that plenty of people can beat him in two or three, maybe even a few people can beat him in four, but nobody can beat him in all five.
Whether or not he is right, it’s a great claim and honestly, I still remember it after years of knowing him.
In working with A/E firms that struggle with their brand and what actually makes them different from the competition, it makes a lot of sense to take a page from my friend’s “book”. Your brand isn’t about one thing. Lots of firms can beat you at one thing.
I maintain that it’s crucial to focus your marketing strategy on a limited number of industries and service types, but being the “school firm” only goes so far. I also believe that people are a huge part of the brand, but what firm is going to say that they don’t (try to) hire the best people?
What makes your firm different, and what clients can believe in – that’s your Heptathlon. It’s the combination of things that you offer to a certain type of client that can’t be recreated, even if it isn’t five things. Maybe it’s your experience in one industry + unique delivery method + project management + use of technology. Or maybe it’s your relationships + regular communications + plus a unique approach to the entire building life cycle.
Whatever it is, that’s what you want to find, and then capture it in a concise story ready for just the right type of clients to remember forever…and don’t be afraid to throw Ping Pong in the mix when needed!