Your Reputation Precedes You (Lessons from Mexico, Part 3)

architect reputation precedes you

Marketing for architects involves positioning yourself at the top of the power pyramid. It matters because, often, your reputation precedes you. When my wife and I visited Acapulco, we discovered that this place is near the bottom …

As I swim to the edge of the pool at the Las Palma condominium in Acapulco, I ask Julia,  ‘Do you notice how we don’t see many other non-Mexicans here?’

‘Yes, because of its reputation,' she tells me.

‘What reputation is that?’

‘The world's third deadliest city.’

‘Oh, that would be it.’

Take a closer look

Brazil gets the gold at 17 of the top 50 deadliest cities.

Mexico gets silver with a creditable 12 out of the top 50 cities.

And before you Americans get too smug, Venezuela just beats the U.S. into bronze by two cities.

U.S. cities in the top 50 are: #13 St Louis, #21 Baltimore, #41 New Orleans and #42 Detroit.

The problem with being #3 when you are a tourist destination is that foreigners get a little gun shy.

Reputation precedes Acapulco

Mexico is run by the drug Mafia, which ironically keeps Acapulco pretty safe for the tourists … but not for the locals who refuse to play ball. The whole police department were relieved of their duties last month when 137 guns went missing, as the police were found to be corrupt.

Not a good look.

I know this because our condo security guard gave me all the inside runnings of the place. His father was murdered, his uncle is a drug addict, his mother left him at 4 months old and he is not a big fan of drugs. If he opens a business in Acapulco, he knows he will need to pay the Mafia protection money … but what can he do?

Continue as the condo security guard.

Regardless of the actual threat to foreign tourists (low), its reputation precedes Acapulco. That is a pity because the weather is great, the beach is sensational, the prices are very reasonable (bordering on cheap).

Julia and I are having a wonderful time in what was a tourist ‘hot spot’ in the 1950s and 60s when Elvis made his movie ‘Fun in Acapulco.’ Today, the 3rd deadliest city stigma is a bit of a foreign tourist dampener (local tourists don’t seem to mind).

Build a good reputation

This got me thinking about reputations and fast ways to build them in order that they can precede you.

One way is by giving yourself a label. Not waiting around and being allocated one like Acapulco. Actually choosing one for yourself.

I once hired a heating guy because my builder said, ‘You need Doug the Duct Doctor.’ You can't get more reputable than a doctor.

All the connotations of a doctor were attributed to this guy in my mind as being a specialist –– the best, highly trained. None of which were true … the doctor ended up putting his feet through the ceiling in three different places. But his label and therefore his reputation precedes him.

I am known as the world’s leading architect marketer –– that is a label which is useful.

Mona Quinn was known as New Zealand’s leading character home architect, and that is highly useful. Right, so your reputation precedes you … What label can you give yourself that would precede you. That is, get attention and attract clients to you?

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