Business Promotion for Smaller Design Companies
Building your Name as a Brand
In this example the focus is on you as a designer, not as a larger company or even medium sized business. Most designers when starting out in business do so as a freelancer and then create a more business like structure after gaining a few clients. We then grow naturally waiting for the next big job to arrive after completing the last, relying our reputation and word of mouth without business promotion. Having advocated the use of a generic name so that the business can be sold or associates or partners brought into it without egos causing friction, there is of course the other side to the argument. One may never want partners or that the name is valuable anyway so why change it, or even marketing a person initially is considerably easier than a generic name.
The latter is especially true in domestic design. The designer can be often be a feel good for the client, someone who is there to help advise and give the client confidence. The client may prefer a named designer which is difficult if you are starting out and don’t have that reputation. The market in this instance prefers to have a name and that’s the theme of this article; how to build a name, here the focus is on design business promotion using your name as the brand.
Design Business Promotion, What is a Name?
What is a name? It may be Jessica Smith Designer or Tracy Adams Interior Designer, the point is using your name in promotion of interior design or associated industries and arts will make you recognizable every time your name is mentioned. This is working the word of mouth especially as people like to talk with authority. They won’t say to their friends look in the yellow pages for a designer. They will say “Oh I heard that so and so is very good or very active in the arts etc” .While you may be a good designer the more you have your name out there the easier it is for people to remember and associate it with interior design.
So how on earth do we build the name?
And we do it at every possible positive opportunity. The name needs to be in the limelight at every opportunity and modesty is a big no no. Relish in the attention and use it for promotion of the business. Design business promotion is not about sitting back but getting in the spotlight and being well and truly noticed at every opportunity for publicity.
There are many ways to promote the name and some cost, yet others are free. Linked below are a collection of methods that may be used as ideas, however it is strongly recommended that the ideas and how to implement them are incorporated into a business plan and using a gant or time line to get the plan working for the name. Please note that in this example we are focusing on domestic or commercial design in a particular area and niche and its mainly consulting rather than trading. This isn’t a broad brush system trying to capture part of a big market.
While this is intended to be focused on your name as a brand, the methods described work just as well for generic brands. The point here is that in the smaller market domestic or other clients like to remember and be associated with a person and the personal attention they get rather than of a larger company.
For more general information on how branding works try wikipedia
Find Ways to Market Your Design Business
Designer Promotional Materials
Promotion Through Public Relations
Promotion and Competitions
Business Promotion Using Associations
Written by Chris Brown