Dennis Sarlo Hosts Panel on Brand Building at DDB Spring Market 2019
At this year's DDB Spring Market, Dering Hall executive editor Dennis Sarlo sat down with expert designers Kesha Franklin from Halden Interiors and Lydia Marks and Lisa Frantz from Marks & Franz to discuss the most important elements to building and honoring your brand. The designers shared insights on various topics including how to establish a signature style, managing client expectations, leveraging social media, and more. Here were some highlights:
Establish a Signature Style
Establishing a signature style is important to set your design business apart and make it distinctive. Franklin discussed how early in her career, she would design in any style to meet the expectations and needs of the client, but as she has grown professionally, she now seeks out clients that will appreciate and match her signature style, which is more modern.
Embody your own Brand
Whether it’s your wardrobe or the confidence you have when meeting a potential client, you should personify the brand you build. While Marks & Franz, known for color, admitted to wearing mostly balck and white, they also spoke with confidence about their style and collaborating with clients to achieve the most successful results.
Create a Brand that is Malleable
While Marks & Franz celebrates colors and patterns in much of their design aesthetic, they both spoke of an achievement nearly 10 years into their business of designing a room that was primarily grey. While the color was limiting, they were able to incorporate their style with color from the art, a mix of patterns and elements to create a room that they were not only proud of, but still felt distinctly on brand.
Know When to Say No
While design is a services industry and most designers will make every effort possible to create a successful working relationship with a client, sometimes it just isn’t right. Franklin spoke of one instance of not being able to come together with a client when the time came to make actual purchases. Their visions were so disparate, she eventually had to professionally and gracefully part ways.
Consistency is Key
Know your brand and the key elements (be it font, color scheme, tone, etc.) that best exemplify your brand and then carry those elements through everything you do. The panel spoke of the importance of consistent branding in everything from their Instagram feed to their invoices.
All the panel members stressed the importance of staying true to your own brand and having a true understanding of what it is and what it means for others. Check out more information on how to build a design brand with a limited budget here.