Brand Your Community to Sell for Top Dollar
Steve Jobs said, “Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”
When I read that The LYND Company sold The Joule Denver at record-breaking prices, this quote is what instantly came to my mind in thinking back on one of Sprout’s first branding projects. Steve was referring to the iPod in this quote, but this was the exact same thinking that we applied to Joule when there was nothing but dirt in that slice of Denver’s Golden Triangle.
Ask yourself, if your apartment was a person what would they be like?
That simple question is where we started. It’s easy to get caught up in the game of amenities and features where you feel that your “resort-style pool” is your claim to fame. However, the key to building your brand is to transcend the endless lists of pros and cons. It’s not enough to just know your customer but you have to become them.
Meet Jack! He is one of our three avatars from Joule and describes the personality of the Joule brand. He is energetic and smart, but in true Denver form he is super “granola” and strives to live a healthy, yet still very indulgent, lifestyle. He is the kind of guy who rides his bike to work, but that bike is probably the best, most expensive bike you have ever seen. This is only the beginning …
By creating that person in your mind, it becomes easier to put all the pieces together. I’m not just talking about naming a community or creating the brand’s look and feel. I’m talking about everything! Is Jack going to enjoy cooking on anything but a gas range? Is not having a dog run going to be a deal breaker for him? Are people who struggle with technology going to frustrate him? Will a message that appeals to his energetic personality increase his perceived value of the community?
Not only does everything at Joule simply appeal to Jack, but it is Jack! This brand now has meaning to Jack and the other people that Jack would interact with if he was a person. We have now turned four walls with some sweet amenities into that sexy guy that you secretly stalk on Facebook. That celebrity that you follow on Snapchat because you aspire to his lifestyle.
Branding and selling that brand is all about perception of value. It’s not one single item that propels that brand into fame, it’s about how it all works and builds a collective personality that makes you unique. And let’s face it, the more unique something is, the more valuable it is!
Written by Rebecca Ross
Creative and Social Media Director at Sprout Marketing