For the Target Market That Hates Advertising: Unadvertising

Image Source: Adweek

There is noise flying at consumers from every angle. Something clever, something practical, something interactive, something hilarious, something memorable. Something that creates value in the target’s mind. Statements linking features to advantages and positioning these as benefits (FABS). How can marketers be more clever than the competition?

Small Luxury Hotels of the World decided to do the opposite. Less visually appealing. No FAB statements. They’ve rolled out an unadvertising campaign. Beige headlines do anything but scream, they whisper. “Even the most exciting, glossy advert can’t seduce people who know what they want. So here’s a boring one.” “This ad is for people unaffected by retouched advertising images.” “A super slick luxury ad might have looked great, but it wouldn’t have swayed independent minds. So we didn’t do one.”

The campaign cleverly plays to consumers who consider themselves highly discerning. It’s ironic; the “free-thinking” audience is manipulated the opposite way other targets are.

The $1 million campaign media buy  includes Bloomberg, Departures, the Financial Times, Boisdale Lifestyle and Travel + Leisure.  These print and digital outlets clearly target the affluent traveler.

To read the original story, visit Adweek

The Marketing it Takes to Put a City on the Map

Ever been to Serena del Mar? Probably not, because it’s a Colombian city that hasn’t been built yet. Developers and masterplanners have come together with a vision to build a city neighbouring the old city of Cartegena, taking inspiration from the culture and heritage and integrating it playfully with modern architecture that honours nature and urban amenities (Much like Currie, just, you know, more tropical). The principles of social inclusion, environmental friendliness, and an enriched quality of life are woven through the plan. Chicago-based VSA Partners and Colombian consultancy Novus Civitas were challenged with defining a place that won’t be completed for at least 20 years.

The big idea? Dreams meet reality, shape the world around the land, and evolve alongside the earth.

The visual identity, inspired by the early vision of the project  is derived from “los morros”, a geographical feature of the land that includes the mountains and the ocean.

In Colombia, watercolour is a treasured art form so the logo often appears on a watercolour treated backdrop in application. The brand colour palette is both modern and indigenous to the region.

Check out the project video:

The Verv Brand Platform

We’ve been building real estate brands for 11 years. Things evolve. One of the most challenging yet exciting evolutions we’ve seen is in consumers. They are more informed than ever; they have constant access to information, and lots of it (hello, internet). This challenges us; it requires us to build more compelling, strategically sound brands for clients.

Brands are more than just logos. Brands are entities. People emotionally engage with them, invest in them, and the brands they associate with are intertwined with their own personal identity. Because of that, it is crucial to set your brand up so that it makes perfect sense for consumers to invest. That’s where the challenge lies. With that comes the privilege of what we do.

So how do we do it?

  1. Start with research. Understanding fundamental dynamics around the market is the only place to start. We need to know:
  • who is buying what
  • how much they are paying for it
  • what the competitive landscape looks like
  • what threats might be out there
  • what we can leverage

We mine for insights so we can come to any project as smart as we can.

  1. Define clear business objectives. This is another crucial element to the equation. Developments will always have restrictions and performance requirements that directly impact positioning and marketing strategies.

We use the data set to build brands that deliver on our clients’ objectives that are totally appropriate for our identified market segment.

There are three key steps to our brands.

  1. Brand strategy – we’ve developed a platform that outlines the ultimate ambition of a brand, the reason it exists, the values with which it operates, what drives the brand philosophically, and finally, the all-important brand promise.
  1. Brand positioning – all of our lofty idealism around our brand is irrelevant unless it is attached to concrete data from the research. This step in our process aligns the brand strategy to key imperatives, like the target market, the credibility of the product, differentiators from the competition, and facts that legitimize our claims.
  1. Brand Identity – this is the best part. We interpret all of the strategic thinking into an identity and design system that brings the brand to life in a compelling visual way (i.e. pretty shapes and colours). This is where our positioning is personified in the logo, our values are demonstrated in the key messaging and our product ambitions are clearly represented in imagery and copy.

Cool, but what are the results?

The Verv Brand Platform provides the foundation and frame of reference for everyone involved in the project. It consolidates efforts and unifies messaging, which delivers efficiencies across the board. No detail is exempt from this platform, not even the choice of door handles.

Marketing efforts are precise and aligned with the brand. We understand our market segment, how to engage with them, and more specifically, where to reach them. From premium hand-delivered invitations to commissioned blog posts promoting the hottest new venues in town, we are in the right places at the right time. This is all directed by our brand.

Once our consumers are paying attention, acquisitions are quicker to come by. End-users intuitively understand the product early on – thanks to accurate positioning –, which frees the sales team up to focus on the details. We have delivered brands that sold out two towers in ten days. Despite the rush, we still received compliments on our brand touch points: the brochure, sales centre, and digital experience!

The brand doing its job means all of your collateral, marketing and sales efforts will reinforce your price per square foot. You might be at the top of the market or have an entry-level product. You could be selling, or renting. You could offer commercial, residential, or mixed-use. The brand supports the price point and the product type. It’s all about delivering against our clients’ business objectives.

Some of our recent successes include:

The Jervis

Gold House

Call us.