Singularity Effect: The Secret Strategy of Architecture Firms Like BIG

November 12, 2023

Tyler Suomala

Founder of Growthitect

Many architecture firms, when struggling to differentiate themselves, often resort to generic branding strategies. A few examples of this are:

  • Overuse of collective terms: Firms frequently use 'we' or 'us' in an attempt to seem larger or more inclusive, which can obscure individual talents and stories that are more engaging to clients. I’ve noticed this to be especially true among small firms - they try to appear larger than they actually are.

  • Reliance on standard sales pitches: Many firms use a one-size-fits-all sales approach, failing to tailor their pitches to the specific needs, preferences, or values of different clients, leading to less effective client engagement. Another way to say this is that they “pitch” their firm in the same way to every prospective client.

  • Impersonal marketing material: There's a tendency to use industry jargon and impersonal language in marketing materials, which lacks the emotional appeal necessary to connect with clients on a personal level. (PS - it’s better to write dumber.)

As a result of these generic strategies, several problems emerge:

  • Lack of client engagement: Without a unique identity, firms struggle to form strong, lasting relationships with clients who seek personalized experiences and connections.

  • Difficulty in differentiation: In a crowded market, firms find it challenging to distinguish themselves, leading to lost opportunities and difficulty in attracting high-quality clients.

  • Diminished brand value: Generic branding can lead to a diluted brand perception, reducing the perceived value and innovation of the firm in the eyes of potential clients and the wider community. (PS - Use transformation statements to name and claim your territory.)

So how can you avoid these issues? Enter the Singularity Effect - we (humans) care disproportionately about individuals. By emphasizing the unique identities, stories, and talents within your firm, you can better resonate with your clients.

We see the power of the Singularity Effect in play every day. Tesla doesn’t spend a dime on marketing because they have Elon Musk. Apple is closely associated with the ideals of Steve Jobs. And you can’t think of Virgin Airlines without thinking of Richard Branson, too. Do we see this in architecture? Of course! Bjarke Ingels and BIG. Zaha Hadid and ZHA. Jeanne Gang and Studio Gang. Norman Foster and Foster & Partners. The list goes on.

All of these businesses harness the power of the Singularity Effect to increase their value.

How can architects harness the Singularity Effect?

You don’t have to be a starchitect to leverage the Singularity Effect. At it’s essence, the singularity effect is about elevating individual voices over corporate identities. Why? Because people trust other people more than they trust a business. And that will never change.

Here are some ways you can leverage the Singularity Effect to increase conversions, build stronger relationships, and generate pipeline:

  1. Personalized interactions: Want to increase conversions on your website contact form? Instead of a generic “Contact Us” form, imagine a client scheduling a meeting and seeing the profile of the architect they will be working with. “Meet with Sally” is a lot more appealing than submitting a “Contact Us” form into an unknown abyss. Show and tell who prospects will be speaking to. Give them a reason to be excited (and a reason to care!).

  2. Team visibility: Showcasing the firm’s profiles on your website isn't just about putting faces to names; it's about telling their stories. The Brooklyn Studio does this really well. They not only give bios for their team but they also include a fun Q&A with each employee to show their personalities! Think about how much easier it is for prospective clients to feel connected to their team - the impact is awesome.

  3. Individual voices over corporate echoes: Encourage architects within your firm to share their insights and experiences on social media. Naturally, I believe this is one of the most underrated tactics being used by architects today. About 80% of Tyler Tactics subscribers came from LinkedIn. In fact, I get 10-20 new subscribers from LinkedIn every single day. If you’re a firm leader that’s not regularly posting valuable insights from your personal LinkedIn profile, then you are missing out on high-quality clients (because people would rather hear from you instead of your firm’s company profile!).

  4. Strategic partnerships: You don’t have to stay within the bounds of your firm’s people to leverage the Singularity Effect. It also applies to associations or recommendations. Use the reputation and trust of other leaders and influencers to enhance your firm’s reputation. That means investing in relationships with local, regional, or industry leaders in the markets that you pursue. You can even consider digital influence in the same way. By engaging with influencers and bloggers, firms can showcase their work and connect with potential clients, creating a strong online presence.


Incorporating the Singularity Effect is about highlighting individual brilliance within your team and your market. It’s powerful because people trust individuals more than they trust corporations. Firms can leverage the Singularity Effect by:

  1. Personalizing interactions

  2. Making their team more visible on their website

  3. Celebrating individual voices over corporate announcements

  4. Pursuing strategic partnerships

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