Mark Grisafe has been running a small, but successful architecture business for the last several years, but knew he needed to change his business strategy if he wanted to compete with the better-known, brand name firms in his area. His firm, M. Grisafe Architects, is a full service commercial and residential architecture firm based in Long Beach, California that can handle everything from new design to custom remodels, and from interior design to landscape design.
Transitioning from a small firm to a brand name can be a big jump, but an important one. As Mark notes, “I’ve noticed that in almost any industry, the go-to or brand name company is the one that you hear mentioned repeatedly, and seems to be the one that people will pay a premium to own or do business with.” In order to become a firm that is mentioned as one of the “go-to” architecture firms, Mark knew his company needed to have a clear vision and identity.
It is that vision and identity that potential clients gravitate toward and what ultimately makes a business successful. Customers want what that business has to offer them—even if that’s just a feeling. While Mark always strives toward excellence in architectural design, he also wants to give his clients a feeling of being inspired. He wants to deliver a finished product that his clients will value and cherish, like they would a piece of art.
Part of the process of growing into this type of business is attracting the right type of clients. Mark doesn’t want to attract just any clients, but those who want to live or work in an inspired, and not just a functional, space.
One way Mark is already attracting those types of clients is through charitable work. Recently, Mark completed a landscape design project for a local church—a Memorial Garden of Life, dedicated to life and to all those who grieve the loss of children and the loss of the unborn. It’s a project in which he believes very strongly and for which he has a lot of passion.
While he didn’t get involved in the project to grow his business, M. Grisafe Architects has seen an increase in business because of the publicity received from his involvement. Not only has there been an increase in business, but an increase in the right kind of business. The people that are attracted to an architecture firm that would design a beautiful Memorial Garden of Life are the same types of clients who want to be inspired in their own homes or places of business. So by pursuing charitable projects about which he is passionate, Mark has set up his business to attract the type of clients he wants. Working on select charitable projects is just one way Mark’s firm illustrates who they are and why they do what they do.
M. Grisafe Architects is perfectly positioned to become one of the “brand name” architecture firms. By identifying who they are as a firm—one with a lot of passion that seeks to inspire—they are attracting the types of clients and doing the types of projects that will help them stand out achieve long term success.
It’s not about marketing and PR hype, it’s communicating your authentic story in the right places so as to attract well suited clients. So what are you doing to position your business and ensure that the right people are connecting with you?