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Displacement marketing

You feel someone steered the branding strategy down a too-intriguing path when the practice website has to explain how to pronounce its name. And then feels the need to explain what the name means.

The case in point is provided by Heliotrope Architects, an eight year old, five-person Seattle practice run by two nice looking blokes, Mike Mora and Joseph Herrin.

OK, 'hE-lE-o-”trOp” is how the have it on their home page. Heliotropes, as if you didn't know it, are purple winter plants whose leaves and flowers track the sun – like sunflowers. Hmmm.

A hint of early eco-solar symbolism stuff in there somewhere? You are really scratching around for an even half convincing reason for the name. Does it come trippingly off the tongue? Does it evoke any emotion other than a general sense of purpleness? Does it express the well mannered architecture they do?

You really want to urge them to do a brand audit and bite the re-brand bullet. No, not Sunflower Architects. And remember, in places with mild winters, heliotrope is reckoned to be a bit of a weed.

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