A recent engagement points up an important lesson for the brand builder: slow and steady wins the race.
Fennell Purifoy Architects is a highly accoladed, decades-old boutique architectural firm headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas.
More than a decade ago, our firm helped Fennell Purifoy discover and define its unique positioning through The Brand NavigatorTM.
The firm’s differentiating perspective — its special sauce or brand DNA — is the ability to integrate human, energy systems, materials, and design into “high-performance buildings” that drive down total cost of ownership over the life of the building.
In brand development, we termed this unique approach “performance-driven design, then likened a building to a stationary machine. Just like a BMW automobile or Maytag washer, a Fennell Purifoy building was designed, engineered, and manufactured to deliver performance on multiple dimensions. The result is a family of emotional and functional benefits for the users and owners of the building.
In the fall of 2020, the principals of Fennell Purifoy touched base to conduct a brand tuneup with Thoma — to pressure-test the effectiveness of the firm’s positioning and communications a decade in.
Interesting and encouraging to us was seeing that this firm had faithfully executed against its brand vision for more than a decade. In that period, the firm has continued to excel, had attracted some high-profile and hotly contested assignments, and had added new partners to its management team.
Interesting and encouraging to our client were the customer interviews that underscored — indeed — Fennell Purifoy’s unique philosophy and approach was still driving results. Further, the firm’s visual brand design was still producing competitive, new-business-winning results with public-sector, private-sector, and individual clients.
This recent experience with a client underscores a proven axiom of brand leadership — getting it right the first time is critically important because building a brand is a marathon, not a sprint. You want research-supported, consumer-validated brand positioning frameworks to invest precious resources in.
Like a mature landscape, a brand requires time to develop and mature into a fully realized competitive lever.
Consumer research demonstrates that many of America’s Best-Loved Brands 2020 (from The Morning Consult) are 25, 50, 75 years old. Furthermore, all of these brands have clear, constant and consistently executed brand value propositions.
As Fennell Purifoy — a fabulously creative architectural firm serving clients in Arkansas and the mid-South — and America’s best-loved and most established consumer brands have demonstrated, the best brand leaders navigate their brand journeys with clarity and conviction.
If you’re on such a brand journey and would like a copilot or navigator to accompany you, we encourage you to reach out to our team to learn how we help clients unleash the power of brands inside and outside their organizations.