Yesterday has been my first day of consulting of 2012, it resulted more important than thought, not only I learned a lot about the architecture business, but also because it gave me the opportunity to find new ways to explain the marketing and business environments and try new processes.
Those “pro bono client” are some personal fiends of mine, that decided to take their professional experiences and passion for the architecture to another level, by opening their own Architecture Studio. Rarely I have seen people so creative and passionate, but in the last months they were facing some challenges in getting the best visibility from their works and values, and for this reason, they asked some consultations about how to implement their communication and business structure.
During the first part of the morning we started to discuss about what they have done till then, so to gather more information that could be used on the next steps, where the business and marketing strategy would be defined and planned.Then while I was explaining them the storytelling process, a question came out “Can you tell us whats marketing for you? and how do you think it effects business and communication?” Personally I answered may times before at this (not so simple) question, and I came out on that very moment with this definition, “Marketing is a game of light and shadows. It’s the art to enlighten your qualities and hide your imperfections“.
In photography, when you do portraits, you have to use the light and the pose wisely, so that you are able to enlighten the qualities of a person and use the shadows to hide the imperfections and make the viewer concentrate on the lighted part. On the same way, this can be applied to businesses, where you have to create a consistent communication strategy (online and offline) aimed to show others the aspects that makes you unique (qualities) and hide from the spotlight, your business imperfections.
After that I asked my friends, to write on their own, 5 lights and 5 shadows they can find on their business, without doing any kind of brainstorming. Then we put all together the resulting values, and started defining which 5 lights and shadows were the most important to them. By doing so we managed to define:
- The company vales (lights) that makes their business unique and different from anyone else, that are going to be used on the definition of every single strategy
- The company problems (shadows) that they were facing and that needed to be hidden while working on a solution
What came out was hugely important, that’s because the company fundamental values came out from the founders themselves that started to see every tactic or proposal on a new way, and then looking at the shadows they were facing, and understanding the ways to manage and solve them. By using this method, we managed to define in a short time the core values of their business and the issues that needed to be solved, elements that were used to plan the later activities that would be explained on this Blog during all the consulting process 😉