Architects must work with brand strategists
September 25, 2017 – The Institute of Architects which drives continuous professional development among its members invited business personality Dr. Rohantha Athukorala, the President/Group CEO of Coral, who is also a Board Director on leading private sector organisation Hemas Leisure and Aviation Group, to address its members on ‘Building the Architectural Brand’.
The key message highlighted by him was that modern day architects must not just focus on customers to build the business but develop links with top brand strategists in Sri Lanka and globally as today the trend is to understand the ‘distinctive position’ the brand needs to occupy in the targeted customers’ mind and then work back the personality of the building that needs to take form, voiced Athukorala to a packed audience of senior and new entrant architects changing the skyline of the country.
The speaker being a former Chairman of Sri Lanka Export Development Board and Sri Lanka Tourism highlighted how in the latter, supply of hotel room is exceeding demand. Hence “we first identify who we want to attract into Sri Lanka, say for instance the North European traveller. Then, sketch the experience you want to give the traveller which is where the architect must work with brand strategists. This will lead to deciding the design of building, the tiles to use, the design in the walls, the furniture type, the drapery, lighting, etc. In other words let’s move to a ‘marketing oriented’ approach to working than trying to influence too much the architects’ own vision, creativity and dreams in relation to the building.”
Dr. Athukorala said from an export front, architectural services must be leveraged as an export out of Sri Lanka. He cited how for Qatar the 2020 Soccer World Cup infrastructure, the majority of the architecture had been designed by Sri Lankan architects.
“This means we have the ‘product’ that the world wants. Let’s link with Government organisations like EDB and penetrate the global market. We technically call this export of services,” said Athukorala.