The Stuff of Legends


As human beings, we have a basic, primal need for great storytelling. We daydream our entire existence, telling ourselves fundamental stories about who we are and what our lives should look like. From the oral traditions of old to the social media profusion of today, it seems our brains are hardwired for a good story.

As a full-service branding and marketing consultancy, we at Verv are well versed in the crucial need for storytelling. We strongly believe in the in the marriage of art and science, merging populations and narratives, market segments and stories. We use the numbers, research and science to ascertain the culture of a market segment. Then, we use our experiences and skills to artfully create stories that hold mirrors to those cultures. For each project, we aim to create content-based stories that connect with prospects at an intellectual and emotional level.

Buyers are cynical. Nobody wants to be sold to. Buyers are also able to curate the messages that reach them each day, holding on to only the most relevant. This creates an enormous opportunity for “intellectually connective content” that is highly effective. When we create the right content for the right audience, the results are amazing.

Intellectually connective content is content that is…

  • Welcoming and engaging, allowing the potential buyer to connect with the story.
  • Defining and validating, creating an experiential event for the potential buyer.
  • Hyper-sharable, encouraging potential buyers to spread the word.
  • Emotional and evocative, inciting buyers to action.

Verv offers a different level of service. We have some great brains here that allow us to take the old “idea agency → production agency” model and flip it on its head. We develop in-house strategy, ideation, storytelling, content creation, digital distribution and analytics; creating intellectually connective content for digital, social, television, even live activation and events. And all with one imaginative team.

Our goal is to create stirring, remarkable content that meets that instinctual human need for a great story, making your project the stuff of legends.

On that note, for those who remember the great Trump brand and campaign we came up with, keep your radar locked on Foster Martin, a  really cool project that we’ve been toiling away on with Fifth Ave  and Landmark Developments. It’s going to be legendary.

Branding, Marketing & Advertising: What is the Difference?


As branding and marketing consultants, we are often asked: “Is there really a difference between the two?” Throw advertising into the mix, and the waters only get muddier.

At Verv, we are intimately familiar with the differences between branding, marketing and advertising – because we live and breathe this stuff. It’s our passion and our playground. We know precisely how to differentiate between them and, more important, exactly how to apply the principles of each to meet your specific needs.

Let’s talk about what that means.


Branding: The Critical First Step

The importance of branding cannot be overstated, especially in a competitive real estate market like Vancouver. At its most basic level, branding refers to a name and a logo. But consider for a moment just how important your name and logo are. They are your initial interaction with the consumer; your first, and most important tool to build a perception in consumers’ minds about the qualities and attributes of your product.

Your brand is visually articulated through a design system that combines graphic devices, imagery and language, painstakingly crafted to create the desired effect. Successful branding achieves two crucial objectives:

  • Differentiates you from your competitors
  • Positions your product in the market

At Verv, we have developed a brand model to establish strategy, positioning and identity (detailed in an earlier post), culminating in a brand platform that is used as a touchstone for the lifecycle of your product – from preview to completion. Branding is the foundation of all marketing efforts, and it is critical that it gets done right.


Marketing: Feeding the Sales Machine

Technically speaking, marketing is all activity undertaken to create demand. More specifically, it is the activity whereby the right messaging is matched to the right audience. The goal of marketing is to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Only by understanding the needs and wants of your consumer (based on market intelligence and insights), then answering those needs, can marketing be successful.

Your marketing efforts will focus on active promotion and communication with your target audience. Integrated marketing plans (sales environments, collateral, PR, advertising, digital presence, etc.) will determine how and where your product’s “story” is told.

By communicating on-target messaging to key audiences in compelling ways, your marketing efforts will drive awareness, elevate the value of your brand, and ultimately deliver qualified leads for your sales team.


Advertising: A Powerful Punch

“Advertising” can be a misunderstood term. In actual fact, advertising is simply one component of the marketing spectrum. It is the action of using paid announcements to inform and influence your audience, and create awareness about your product.

Traditionally, an advertising campaign is developed based on your branding and marketing plan, and distributed across paid media channels strategically selected to reach your target audience.

Advertising is a major piece of the marketing puzzle. A bold and compelling campaign promoted in the right places can be a game-changer for successful real estate projects. It can be differentiator that gets your project sold – ahead of your competitor!

So, the short answer is that advertising falls under the umbrella of marketing, while branding is that critical first step of positioning your product and creating your visual identity before you can begin to flesh out your marketing plan.

Give us a shout if you have questions, or want to discuss what’s missing from your project. We could talk about this stuff all day. Actually, we do.

Why Do We Only Do Real Estate?


Verv Projects is a collective of individuals who have specialized in real estate marketing for many years. While our roots and backgrounds are diverse, the common thread that ties together our kick-ass team is the branding, marketing and selling of property. Our greatest feats have been in the areas of residential, rental, industrial, commercial and recreational real estate over the past 11 years.

Residing in a city with one of the hottest housing markets in the world, it’s no surprise that we wanted to join the “cool” kids and showcase our talents in the industry. In doing so, we’ve had the opportunity to create some unique and, in our opinion, downright sexy campaigns for some of the biggest local real estate influencers and largest players across Western Canada and the United States.

Let’s just say we don’t plan to start promoting the newest gluten-free cereal or the hottest local restaurant on the block. (Unless, of course, either of these could help our clients sell more units!) We eat, breathe and sleep real estate. It is what we are great at, and why we create exceptional value for those we work with. If you want to market your cereal, we’re probably not your go-to. But real estate? Go with the specialists. We got this.

We have worked in several different real estate markets over the years… the searing hot markets in which product is gone faster than you can list it, and the cooler markets in which sales occur at a much slower pace. No matter the circumstances, each has excited and challenged us. Each has provided yet another case study and increased our knowledge base working within the industry.

Real estate might be our focus, but part of what we love about this business is that it’s not just buildings we are marketing: these are people’s homes. Everybody needs a place to call home, and we are privileged to participate in helping home-seekers find the perfect place to hang their hats.

What’s the future of Verv? We will continue to make our mark on the world of real estate by creating exciting, engaging content and strategy that compels our clients and their customers alike. We’ll nimbly navigate the evolving digital landscape and ever-changing consumer behaviours. And of course, we will continue to feed our passion for real estate in varied, always fascinating markets. Alas, no gluten-free cereal!

Buildings That are Aware of People and Weather

“Intelligent” buildings are more efficient; they cut costs and use less energy in the long run as all systems begin to share data and adapt to factors and conditions. Sustainable infrastructure, meet the “Internet of Things”!

An intelligent building becomes a self-optimizing system. Tenants do not adapt to their new building, rather, it adapts to them. Understanding how residents use the interior space and measuring the weather outside helps the building system learn not only to react, but eventually, to anticipate. For instance, camera and motion sensor data can be connected and integrated so that heating/cooling systems can regulate temperatures when rooms are typically in use or even particularly crowded. Later, when new tenants with new habits move in, there is no need for reprogramming systems because they will automatically adapt.

The automatic regulation is based on predictions from data analysis, and benefits include reduced costs, comfortable residents, and a smaller carbon footprint.

For the details, visit GreenBiz.

Is the Millennial Exodus Real?

There’s a theory floating around that housing unaffordability in Vancouver is driving the younger crowd away in droves. It’s tougher for this demographic to own a home here, especially having just graduated post secondary or only having been established in a career for a short time. Okay, but is that true? Are they leaving?

British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) reported that the number of millennials in Vancouver has increased by 15,800 people since 2005. That’s 9.5% growth. The report, released April 22, said, “An examination of population estimates for the region reveals that millennials are, in fact, not retreating from Vancouver and that the population aged 20-34 years old has increased significantly.” As of the most recent census, the proportion of Millennial homeowners is much higher than in preceding decades.

As of 2015, approximately 569,000 Millennials live in Metro Vancouver.

Read the original story at Business in Vancouver.