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Build Your Brand

Does Your Business Reflect Your Values?

Before I share my learnings with you today, I have a question for you.


What do you get when you combine two of the best interior designers in Australia with one of the most influential authorities in marketing and branding in the world?


You get our 2024 Melbourne Design Conference! It’s new, and it’s going to be A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!


We’re beyond excited to announce our Guest Speaker line-up including:

  • Mim Fanning (Mim Design)

  • Sarah-Jane Pyke (Arent & Pyke) 

  • Fiona Killackey (My Daily Business), who’s launching her new book “Business to Brand” in September and is sharing all it’s goodness with us before it hits the shelves. 


The Conference isn’t even formally launched yet, but I wanted to share it because I’m so excited (can you tell???). It’s taking place from 4th - 7th August later this year, so slot those dates in your diary. Today we opened the Waitlist so you can be the first to know when the event formally launches.


BONUS: Members who join the waitlist (and register) go in the draw to win a 1.5 hour Branding Strategy Meeting with Fiona Killackey and me (valued at $1,100).


“Whaaaat! That’s too much goodness to bear!”, I hear you say. I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it’s really happening. 

The entire focus of the Conference will be around building a strong business brand. Mim and Sarah-Jane have two of the most respected business brands in Australia, each with a string of awards and accolades that truly reflect their immense talent, business acumen and (most importantly) their ability to build a unique, powerful business brand.


That leads me to my next question for today: “Is your business a good reflection of you and your values?” 

I was encouraged to revisit the messaging for my business MR. MITCHELL recently when I sat down with Vijay, one of my favourite clients, to get his feedback on how he perceived me and my business from an inside and outside perspective. Inside being from the viewpoint of a client, and outside as a potential customer who was looking for a designer.


(Note that this is a really powerful exercise that I encourage everyone to do!)


Whilst I’m exceptionally proud of the brand that I have built at MR. MITCHELL, I’m also aware that there is always room for improvement and, if I’m being completely honest, my design business has been a little neglected over the past few years because its little business brother (TDC) has been stealing all the attention and limelight. 

Over the past few years, I’ve also become a bit complacent. I’d been fortunate to enjoy a steady stream of referral, repeat and new business for MR. MITCHELL, and made the assumption that this would continue. The fact of the matter is, our brand should be a constantly evolving part of our business, and needs regular love and attention.  

Whilst Vijay is one of my biggest advocates (he’s already referred me on to friends), he’s also prepared to tell me exactly how he sees it. Now, some of the feedback was a little hard to take, but that’s the most valuable information you can possibly hope to get.


Today I wanted to share with you some of the amazing nuggets of feedback that Vijay shared with me, because I'm reasonably confident that many of you will also be able to relate to these important elements of branding.


I recommend that as you read each "nugget", consider how you could better incorporate it into YOUR business.




The first thing he drew my attention to was the lack of “Me” in my marketing and branding. As he said, I’m the best thing about my business, so clients need to learn about who I am.


Kindly, Vijay noted that one of my key strengths is my ability to really listen to my clients, to make them feel heard, understood and “safe”. He went on to say how important this was to building the necessary trust.


This important quality made him feel that I fully understood the brief, even going beyond what he and his wife shared with me, to understanding the feelings behind their words.


MY REFLECTION: “Where am I talking about these skills/attributes in my communications with potential clients?”




The second piece of feedback Vijay shared was that there isn't a clear communication of my values through my website and my marketing.


Once again, he kindly pointed to the values he could see in me that were evident in our work together: integrity (I always do what I say), community (I love working with my community of suppliers, artisans and trades), attention to detail (we really pushed the boundaries on some of the designs), and commitment (he knew I was there to the end). 

MY REFLECTION: “How am I communicating these values to potential clients through my words and actions, on a daily basis?”




The third piece of feedback Vijay shared is a lack of my brand differentiation. What are the things about me that make me different, and therefore a better fit for certain potential customers? 


Once again, it was humbling to have Vijay share with me the things that he feels were unique about working with me: 

  • The aforementioned ability to actively listen. Even though Vijay was my main point of contact, his wife was an integral part of the decision making process, and I always listened to both of them intently to ensure I was capturing BOTH of their hopes and wishes.

  • A passion for helping to manage the budget. Right from the outset, Vijay and I had robust discussions about costs on the project, and we both worked tirelessly on the updates to my Budget Forecast spreadsheet as the project progressed.

  • Working with small, sometimes slightly quirky artists and artisans and supporting local manufacturers where possible. Vijay most loved meeting my eccentric wallpaper hanger who listened to jazz music and insisted that no-one was in the house while he worked.

  • My business is boutique, and I’m involved from the start to the finish. Vijay mentioned how refreshing and comforting this was over the 18 months that we worked together.


MY REFLECTION: "How am I making it easy for clients to find out my point of difference?”




The final nugget that I’ll share with you today (there were plenty more, but I’m giving you the abridged version) is that my client testimonials are buried into the depths of my website. 

As Vijay correctly noted, this is the best way for potential clients to build a sense of trust when they’re researching who they want to work with. It’s also an opportunity to share details from the other areas: my values and my point of difference. 


MY REFLECTION: "How can I better communicate my clients' testimonials to prospective clients?" 

Where to from here for me and my branding?


Thanks to the generous feedback from Vijay, I’m in the process of redesigning my website, so that I can share more about me, my values (what makes me so fabulous!) and what my past clients say about me.


I’m also committing to introducing content about me on my Blog and through my newsletters and social media.


I’m also very fortunate to have a supportive community of past clients who sing my praises on a regular basis, so one of the most pleasant “branding and marketing exercises” I like to do is to take these wonderful people out for dinner or a drink, to nurture the relationships ongoingly. 

Another wonderful client has arranged for me to speak to a group of their top real estate agency clients at the Porsche Centre in May. It’s a wonderful opportunity to align my brand with such prestigious companies, and a chance to share with potential clients first hand my skills, values and beliefs; the things that make me unique.


How about you? Are you committed to evolving your brand this year? How will you communicate your values through your marketing?


Marketing is a big focus in our Premium Group Coaching Program (launching next month). Fiona Killackey is hosting an exclusive marketing workshop, and we’ve added some exciting new inclusions that will set you up for success in building a strong business marketing and branding strategy.


To fully understand these valuable inclusions, you can watch the following videos to see how these templates can transform your business:



We look forward to releasing more information about the Melbourne Design Conference in the coming weeks. To be the first to access limited tickets (and go in the draw to win the Strategy Session with Andrew and Fiona valued at $1,100) make sure you Join the Waitlist.


Until next week.


Stay well, and always be kind.




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