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Never forget - it’s always about the IDEA



The world has changed a lot over the last couple of years and there’s no doubt that the nature of digital communication has accelerated trends and causes into the popular zeitgeist in matters of hours or days, rather than months and years as in the past.

We seem to have moved with ferocious speed from Covid to Climate Change being literally everywhere we look. This now is pretty much the dominant discussion in the construction world, even though we are still in the throes of updating legislation post Grenfell.

‘People don’t have ideas, Ideas have people’.

As the eminent Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung famously said.

We are all, in one way or another, seeking meaning in our lives, whether it’s through family, religion, veganism, human rights or a vocation. Meaning is the way we navigate this complex and difficult world.

People attach themselves to ideas as part of our subconscious drive for meaning. There is a lot of discussion that the decline of traditional religious belief systems or ‘grand narratives in the West are being substituted by new kinds of ideology. There are plenty of candidates for these at the moment.

Is architecture a form of Ideology?

Definition of Ideology: ‘a set of opinions or beliefs of a group or an individual.’

This may sound controversial. But having been through the training myself and knowing many architects, it is obvious we all share a form of belief system. But at the beating heart of this shared experience is the very idea of the bringing into being of ‘architecture’. This is an ancient idea, dating back millennia, that I have covered elsewhere.

They may talk about all sorts of issues, about sustainability, circular economy, embodied energy, etc. But these are not the end goal.

They are a means to an end.

The creation of architecture is the end goal of the architect.

That’s it. Never forget this ‘truth’.
What does this mean for you as a manufacturer?

What Foghorn Leghorn can teach us about marketing and sales strategy

Foghorn Leghorn is a cartoon rooster who appears in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons and films from Warner Bros. Animation. He starred in 29 cartoons from 1946 to 1964 and has a bombastic, unrefined personality with a penchant for mischief.

The eponymous rooster was the subject of revenge by the ‘Barnyard Dawg’, who promises to catch Foghorn in exchange for a bone. But as he looks for one, he also is prompted to get a fish for a cat and some cheese for a mouse.

How is this relevant? Because the ‘dawg’ realised that to get the bone he wanted, he had to help others get what they wanted. The lesson, therefore, is quite complex:

You can have everything in life you want if you will just help other people get what they want.

Your best strategy in driving sales is to help architects in reaching their architectural goals.

If you help them get what they want, they will help you get what you want.

How can you do this?

Very often they want to know:

  • You can adapt and innovate with your product to match their vision– there’s a degree of flexibility.
  • They are not the first and at risk – (This is fundamentally unfair, I know) you need well-presented examples and proof of the product in use in a relevant building.
  • You have attractive imagery. Video and photography they can use to show their ‘pain chain’.
  • Work hard to help them visualise their ideas – mock-ups, samples, etc.
Put their idea at the heart of how you present, what you present and what you can deliver. Because:

It’s always about the IDEA.



Paul Iddon ARB RIBA