Brands that promote greater social good have struck a chord with consumers over the last several years. Companies like Tom’s and Patagonia are great case studies of this powerful trend. Moreover, many consumers, specifically Millennials, now expect even more than charity to become brand zealots. They want a brand that not only has a higher calling, but also communicates authenticity, cool savvy and true purpose. Newer brands that leverage this purpose-based marketing are Warby Parker and Boxed Water.
In the urban residential space, we are seeing a dominant trend of Millennials as first-time homebuyers. As a result, today’s developers should embrace this shift towards a brand with deeper meaning.
How do you create an authentic, cool property brand that has a sense of purpose? Here are several ways:
Promote experiences, not advertising.
Create ways to connect people together, with their community, with their neighbors, with those that are like-minded and appreciate similar things. Think of homeowners as citizens, not consumers, and some civic pride will be born.
Promote environmental sensitivity.
While this may seem obvious, many developers are overlooking this messaging ingredient that aligns with Millenial buyers’ core beliefs – to tread lightly on the earth. If LEED certification isn’t possible, find unique ways to promote your sustainable consciousness. Make certain it is true and provable.
Don’t just use local neighborhood businesses for events; integrate them into the building offerings. Work with local designers and artists for common areas. Source your coffee from the roaster down the street, not a big-box brand. Craft an experience, whether temporary or permanent, that aligns with the curated experience you receive at a local retail store.
Don’t hide objections, find a way to solve them.
Traditional advertising has always lacked a problem-solving component. For example, no amount of advertising can explain away a lack of parking in an urban development. However, offering well-chosen new lifestyle amenity brands, like butler services or valet apps, can appeal to younger, busy buyers and help overcome major objections to buying their first home.
A real estate brand can do all of the above and more, be clever and cool, but it can easily be tarnished by one thing – a lack of authenticity. Find ways to play down the marketing speak and let the brand’s purpose lead the way. Find others who embrace the brand and provide them with the tools to become advocates. That real story is what makes purpose-based marketing work. It takes communication with potential buyers to another level.