How Brand Development makes a great first and lasting impression.
Think about your favorite retailers, restaurants, and products. What about them draws you to spend time and money on them? Maybe you feel at home in the atmosphere, or perhaps you notice details in the color scheme of the logo and decor that connect with you. These are the details that Bozzuto’s Brand Development team obsesses over every day as they craft custom brand identities for the communities we develop and manage. They strive to tell a story that makes someone feel at home from the moment they discover that specific community.
Ultimately, the Brand Development team’s goal is to design and execute forward-thinking brands and go-to-market strategies that drive customer preference, encourage customer loyalty and lift margins for every brand we touch. A team of five, these brand experts work with creative agencies, ownership groups and Bozzuto Project Managers to bring the vision of a new development to life. It starts with understanding the end goal for the property and diving into immersive research about the site location, competition and target customer.
Next, “We work with the appropriate creative agency to develop brand concepts that create the vision. We influence property brand strategy and inspire innovation using our foundation of customer data and user research,” said Jessica Itzel, Senior Director of Marketing & Brand Development. Once the strategy is defined and agreed upon, the Brand Managers direct and collaborate with the agency through execution of various brand touchpoints such as signage, splash pages and websites, leasing collateral and a brand playbook.
As the community approaches its opening date, the Brand Development Managers are in full launch mode. Their ‘go-to-market’ strategy has been activated to ensure the on-site team is able to meet the client’s financial goals. Pieces of this strategy include garnering attention from the media and press, building buzz on social media and enticing prospects to visit through events. Once officially open, Brand Managers transition the property to a Marketing Manager who oversees the ongoing marketing strategy. Meredith Williams, Senior Marketing & Brand Manager, said, “It is exciting to see the brand you helped create carried into existence, through opening and into the market for years to come.” Next time you see a community’s gorgeous imagery and playful copywriting, take a deeper look—each detail you scroll over was carefully crafted to tell a bigger story.
We asked brand development for the inside scoop on the world of branding. Here’s what they shared.
What are some of your team’s top branding tips?
Keep asking questions, keep asking ‘why?’ and keep digging, this is how the stories unveil themselves.
Look beyond the real estate industry for inspiration. We like to utilize agencies that do work outside of normal lines of our industry because of their exposure to so many types of creative.
Be open-minded, you never know how an unlikely idea could turn into something brilliant.
Don’t assume you are the target audience for everything; get in the head of who will be consuming your product— keep them in mind in everything you do.
What’s the secret to launching a new brand?
Alot of people confuse “brand” with “branding.” A brand isn’t a logo or a website—although those are important in communicating what a brand is all about. Instead, a strong brand creates emotional connections with its customers and stands out in a competitive marketplace. So how does someone launch a new brand?
Know your target customer
You can’t connect with someone unless you know who they are. Learn what drives them, excites them, scares them— and then craft your message accordingly.
Every customer touchpoint is an opportunity to strengthen your brand’s relationship with them.
Staying on message and on brand in everything from social media to signage is crucial.
What has been your favorite branding project with Bozzuto?
Jessica Itzel: OneEleven was our first property in Chicago, and it was at the top of the market. But when we took over, all we had was a logo. We had to build the brand from scratch on an incredibly tight timeline, all while learning a new market. Luckily there was a great story to tell, and the branding turned out beautifully.
Noel Carson: The Lumin at Boca Raton in Boca Raton, FL. This project was our first branding project in the Southern Florida market, which lent itself to exciting new market research and a challenging, creative launch strategy.
Meredith Williams: The Hepburn located in Washington, D.C. I loved the challenge of developing such an extremely high-profile brand to match the sophistication of this community. Our hard work was recognized after winning two awards for the brand.
Kate Becker: 465 North Park, Chicago, IL. We were able to develop a very strong brand concept that now lends itself really well to social initiatives and PR and it has been rewarding to see our work translate in this way for such a beautiful building.
Bridgette Barnett: In addition to supporting our portfolio of new developments, I am currently working on a committee that is responsible for revamping the ‘brand’ of BMC’s quarterly property marketing campaigns. This is an exciting opportunity to integrate my community branding experience with our corporate voice to give the communities we manage a new taste of marketing.
What are your favorite “Don Draper inspired” quotes or sayings?
Jessica: “Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games.” —Babe Ruth
Noel: “Make it simple but significant.” —Don Draper
Meredith: “Success comes from standing out, not fitting in.” —Don Draper
Kate: “Your brand is what other people say about you when you are not in the room.” —Jeff Bezos
Bridgette: “Above all else, pursue your passion.”Learn more about Bozzuto Management