A few days ago I stumbled onto the website for an interior design company called Better Than Necessary Design. Its homepage contains a nice description of the company’s mission as well as an “About Us” section written by the founder, Jessica Price. To me, the first section read the same way that most company missions read: broad terms and statements that don’t really tell you much or differentiate from any other company. The vagueness though stopped at the end of the mission section as I started to learn exactly who Jessica Price and Better Than Necessary Design were. They believe “design services are not often available to the masses” and “design should be enjoyed by all”, which is why they offer interior design services to a “range of budgets” to make “your home beautiful and practical”.
There are 2 reasons that this really hits home. First, we share Jessica’s core belief that design is not presently available to the masses. She aims to solve the problem by providing interior design services at different levels of budget and involvement while our approach is to help consumers find the truly unique, great designs not currently available in the market. And we make the designs more accessible by producing them in limited runs, driving down the costs from a custom/commissioned piece. We’re providing people with more opportunities to fill their lives and homes with great design.
The second reason this hits home is because of how Jessica presents this on her website. Over a lunch with Jason Fried last week, we discussed the importance of letting the market know exactly what you are about and what you stand for. That means declaring loudly what you do, don’t do, and what you believe. Clearly communicating your stance to the world will result in finding true followers and detracting haters. But that’s a good thing! You now have carved out your place in the market that you can go win. It’s better to be known for something specific, even if potentially controversial or offensive, than to be unknown because you never had strong beliefs or communicated them.
Take a lesson from Jessica and Jason and make sure you clearly state what you believe. We’ll continue to do a better job of it as well.