This post is my contribution to an international blog series called #ArchiTalks. Each month, dozens of architect bloggers from around the world publish a post on a specific topic simultaneously on the same date. Scroll to the bottom for links to posts written by all of my #ArchiTalks friends.
Emotional Marketing for Architects
Our prospective clients learn with their heads, but decide with their hearts.
After years of research and gathering information, often when a client chooses to work with an architect, it simply comes down to their feelings. They choose their team by deciding who they “like” the most.
I am sure you have encountered this situation. We all make decisions this way.
Antonio Damasio, professor of neuroscience at the University of Southern California, argues that “emotion is a necessary ingredient to almost all decisions. When we are confronted with a decision, emotions from previous, related experiences affix values to the options we are considering. These emotions create preferences which lead to our decision.”
This is why storytelling is so powerful. When developing a marketing strategy, stories trigger memories and feelings.
With this knowledge, how can we craft a branding and marketing strategy that is based on emotion? Telling your unique story is just the first step. When developing a complete strategy based on emotional marketing, there are four fundamentals that matter most.
Knowing who we serve matters. Without knowing whom we serve, how can we have any idea on how to emotionally connect? Marketing always begins with understanding your target. Who are they? Where do they work and play? What makes them happy? What are they trying to achieve when hiring an architect? Is it a building permit, or a healthier, happier place to raise their family?
Sensorial experiences matter. What does an architect do? When answering this question, think beyond the traditional description of our services and develop strategies and services that are experienced with every sense. How can we use virtual reality tools to allow our clients a visual and aural experience inside our designs? When presenting your next set of schematic designs, come prepared with a basket of freshly baked cookies. With that unexpected delight for the nose and mouth, do you think your client will remember that meeting and want to share the experience with others?
An imaginative approach matters. Imaginative systems and strategies makes the process more real for our clients. When providing products and services in unexpected ways, we trigger an emotion within our client’s mind. How can we design our websites to better serve our clients in interesting and memorable ways? What can we do with our boring proposals and agreements to send a message of creativity from the first point of contact? Am I developing boring technical drawings for a permit, or am I managing an emotional (and possibly overwhelming) experience that will ultimately improve the lives of my clients’ family?
The words we use matter. In our branding, with our messaging and throughout our communications, the words we use will cause our clients to feel one way or another. As a residential architect, am I “designing a house” or am I “creating a home?” A house has a function. A home is filled with feeling and love. House is technical. Home is emotional. With the intentional selection of every word, we can find new ways to be the architect that our clients “like” the most.
To learn more about emotional marketing, below are links for two of my favorite books on the subject.
Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill
Photo Credit: Shutterstock / Chinnapong
Visit All My #ArchiTalks Friends
Bob Borson – Life of An Architect (@bobborson)
The Designation between House and Home
Marica McKeel – Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: House or Home?
Jeff Echols – Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
House or Home? The Answer to Everything
Lee Calisti, AIA – Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
our house is home
Lora Teagarden – L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
House or Home? It’s in the story.
Collier Ward – One More Story (@BuildingContent)
House or Home? A Choice of Terms
Jeremiah Russell, AIA – ROGUE Architecture (@rogue_architect)
house or home: #architalks
Eric T. Faulkner – Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
House or Home — Discover the Difference
Michele Grace Hottel – Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
“house” or “home”?
Meghana Joshi – IRA Consultants, LLC (@MeghanaIRA)
Architalks #24 : House or Home
Brian Paletz – The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
House or Home? – Depends
Michael LaValley – Evolving Architect (@archivalley)
House or Home? Train for One, Design for Another
Jarod Hall – di’velept (@divelept)
A Rose by Any Other Name…
Greg Croft – Sage Leaf Group (@croft_gregory)
House or Home
Jeffrey Pelletier – Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Designing a House into a Home
Samantha R. Markham – The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
6 Ways to Make your Architecture Studio feel like Home
Kyu Young Kim – J&K Atelier (@sokokyu)
Making a House a Home
Nisha Kandiah – ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Dwelling on a Macro scale
Rusty Long – Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)
House or Home
Keith Palma – Architect’s Trace (@cogitatedesign)
I don’t design homes
Jim Mehaffey – Yeoman Architect (@jamesmehaffey)
House or Home: One’s a Place, the Other a Feeling.
Tim Ung – Journey of an Architect (@timothy_ung)
Architalks – A House is not a home
Mark Stephens – Mark Stephens Architects (@architectmark)
#ArchiTalks #24 House or Home? #RefugeeCrisis @GrainneHassett mentioned