The biggest conundrum most interior designers face is knowing how they’re different from their competitors. If you don’t know what’s special about you, how will prospects know why they should choose you over Debbie Designer who serves the same clientele? A brand story can help you stand out from everyone else by showcasing your unique qualities and background.
Your services are not a commodity
The process of interior design is similar for most firms. As designers build their skills and experience, the process becomes streamlined and repeatable so that team members can deliver a quality design with an efficient process. But that’s just a small part of the experience from the client’s point of view.
If you offer the same services as other designers, don’t fall into the trap of believing that the only difference is how much you charge per hour. That makes your services a commodity and it makes complete sense for a prospect to select the person with the lowest fees per hour.
What makes your business different? You, your team, and the client experience you deliver determine how your business is perceived by your prospects and clients. The brand story begins with the perception you have as the leader. Who are you, and why do you do what you do?
Your brand collaterals such as your project photos, logo and website create the visual perception of your brand. However, it is how you serve your clients through service, communication and results that determine the full nature of your company’s brand experience.
Take a few minutes and answer these questions about your brand assets and how they relate to your brand story:
- Does your website talk about why you do what you do?
- Do you have a background that is unusual compared to other designers? For example, we have a few clients that provide unique services like energy clearing. What is different about your services?
- Do you have a happy team that loves what they do and loves working with you? A happy team is more likely to wow your clients than a team that feels underpaid and underappreciated.
- Does your team love your clients and deliver outstanding design work? How well do your team members communicate with your clients?
- Is your brand experience thoughtful and anticipatory of the client’s every need and is that experience memorable?
- Does your company give back to the community in a powerful and meaningful way that is connected to your values, culture and beliefs?
- Does your firm deliver exceptional and unique design because you’re a world traveler who sources from unique artisans in faraway countries?
- Is your business buzz-worthy? Is your team known for its quirkiness, unique approach or humor?
If you answered yes to at least a few of these questions, you have a brand story to tell. How you tell your story is the key to standing out from your competitors. That story is even more powerful if your clients talk about you.
Telling a brand story
Telling your brand story begins with sharing who you are and why you do what you do. Share your design philosophy. You are your best brand spokesperson.
Ask your clients for feedback about their brand experience with you. What do they love about working with you and your team? Get testimonials, share project stories and highlight your team.
Rarely are we as designers good at writing our own brand story, so hire an experienced writer to interview you and develop a narrative that connects emotionally with your prospects.
Then share your story with the world through videos, articles, blog posts, social media posts and speaking.
The world is waiting to hear why they should know you and love you and your brand.