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.