Michelle Peranteau, Marketing & Communications Consultant and Brand Strategist
Michelle Peranteau is a creative and innovative professional with comprehensive consumer brand and omnichannel marketing expertise. Michelle is a partner at Katie Brockman & Co., a full-service business development and marketing agency whose clients are all best in class in their design area—having led marketing and PR for notable global luxury brands such as Baume & Mercier, Matouk, and Harry Winston. With a passion for brand building and a knack for motivating teams, Michelle excels in 360° strategy development, collaborating with internal partners to achieve brand growth. Her mastery extends to various areas, including brand positioning, P&L management, digital marketing, and strategic partnerships, making her a seasoned expert with a demonstrated understanding of the unique needs of High-Net-Worth Individuals (HNWI).
Get inspired as Michelle talks about her experiences, future marketing trends, optimal allocation of marketing budgets, marketing partnerships, and mainstream media leveraging strategies.
Michelle’s experience in leading marketing and PR for jewelry and watch brands has shaped her approach to working with interior designers and design professionals.
Her key insight is that understanding the creation process—from materials used to craftsmanship—is vital. Going beneath the surface, asking about motivation, inspiration, and the materials used adds depth to her role as a marketing professional for the design community.
She advises to:
1. Value the Process: Understand that the creation process is just as necessary as the result.
2. Explore Motivation and Inspiration: When working with designers, delve into the motivation and inspiration behind their creations.
3. Understand Materials: Gain insights into the materials used in the design process and appreciate their significance.
4. Develop Insights: Use your knowledge of the materials, crafts, and processes to be a valuable marketing professional in the design community.
5. Highlight Craftsmanship: Emphasize the importance of craftsmanship and the skilled individuals who bring designs to life.
Despite the multitude of social media platforms, analytics, digital marketing initiatives, and newsletters, Michelle stresses the importance of having a well-defined brand.
Without a clear brand identity, all other marketing tactics lose their significance. Embracing and prioritizing brand awareness is the foundational element that makes a business stand out.
“The relationship between an interior photographer and an interior designer has to be approached like dating. There needs to be connection and chemistry.”
There is significant value in investing in a collaborative agency partner as a strategic use of marketing dollars. The partner should ask challenging questions and push the business beyond its comfort zone, extracting compelling stories.
Michelle believes that the decision to start a business is a readiness indicator for an agency partner, regardless of the business’s size.
1. Invest in Collaboration: Consider investing your marketing dollars in a collaborative agency partner for strategic support.
2. Value External Perspectives: Recognize the invaluable insights from outside eyes looking into your business.
3. Seek a True Partnership: Look for an agency partner committed to walking with you through the business growth journey.
4. Embrace Discomfort: A good agency partner should be willing to push you out of your comfort zone for growth and innovation.
You can compare the relationship of an interior photographer and an interior designer to dating. Establishing a connection, chemistry, and mutual understanding between the two parties is important.
Mistakes often arise when this “courting” stage is overlooked, leading to a lack of understanding. Since designers entrust their work, a public and private skill, to photographers, thorough planning for success is crucial.
Spending time together, having conversations, and doing due diligence before the shoot are emphasized as essential steps for a smooth and successful collaboration.
Her tips to avoid mistakes are:
1. Build Connection: Invest time in building a connection and mutual understanding between the photographer and designer.
2. Ensure Understanding: Mistakes can be avoided when there is a deep understanding between the parties involved, preventing potential issues during the shoot.
3. Plan for Success: View the collaboration as a great opportunity to plan for success, ensuring the relationship is well-established before the shoot.
Conducting interviews and conversations is recommended to ensure a good fit between the design professional and the agency. For designers engaged in whole-home projects, Michelle sees it as a tipping point to consider partnering with a PR agency, as these projects provide a comprehensive and compelling story that PR professionals love to bring to life.
A mutual understanding between the designer and the agency is encouraged. Not every partnership will click, but when it does, it propels designers, even those with less experience, onto the center stage.
You have to look beyond the surface when pitching design projects to the media. Instead of merely showcasing the beauty of a whole home, explore the motivation behind the homeowner’s decisions.
A compelling story can be crafted by identifying unique angles, such as a designer working on multiple homes for the same client.
Michelle shares a successful example involving a designer with a notable heritage and how the story was pitched to The Wall Street Journal, resulting in a front-page feature. The lasting impact of the article is a testament to the effectiveness of finding unconventional story angles and connecting with the right editor.
The essential things are to:
1. Identify Unique Angles: Look for unique angles in design projects, such as a designer working on multiple homes for the same client.
2. Go Beyond Traditional Publications: While traditional shelter publications are valuable, consider unconventional story angles for other media outlets.
3. Highlight Unconventional Twists: Look for unconventional twists or details that can make a design project stand out.
Good luck, and let me know how these tips help you to grow your community!
Until next time, take one new action that lifts your brand!
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