Architecture & DesignIn this issueNew This WeekSales & Marketing

The Importance of Storytelling and Community Branding

TRIO community tells a consistent story

By Holly Scott

Looking for a new way to have your community stand out from the competition? Understanding your target market and how to engage them on all levels is key. A marketing expert knows the importance of branding and storytelling. Ensuring that the story stays intact from the inception of the project through completion is the next challenge.  

According to Beth Novitsky at GenslerOnLifestyle, “A building is more than available square feet, infrastructure upgrades, and elevator banks. It’s a unique destination capable of attracting a select group of tenants.” 

Creating a narrative that will resonate with the targeted tenant is important, and getting a head start on this type of branding is essential. Novitsky continues, “to be able to distinguish between otherwise similar properties, you need to lead with a unique and memorable ‘hook.’” 

Traditionally, the branding and marketing strategy for the community comes near the end of the process. By shifting the order of the branding process to coincide with the design process, effective branding can help change the game and garner huge results. It allows your community to connect with the target market on a whole new level from the amenities that are offered, to the way the units/homes are designed and the way residents will utilize the space. 

Having a consistent story from land planning through architecture, interior merchandising and marketing is the key to your next successful project.  

TRIO’s project, Alas Over Lowry (formerly Broadstone at Lowry) was completed in 2019. From the start of the project, stakeholders envisioned the property to be a wellness-inspired, luxury living community. At the outset of this project, TRIO marketing and branding experts created a case study to encapsulate this vision and establish the community’s story that would inspire the rest of the design process along the way.  

Understanding the history of the neighborhood is a crucial element to creating the narrative, since every market has differences and intricacies that make it unique. In the case of Broadstone Lowry, our branding team considered the area’s unique mixture of urban landscape, strong ties to military history with the Lowry Air Force Base, and the new sustainable mixed-use community that makes up this neighborhood. The challenge was to create a brand  experience that reflects an elevated product but at lower rents compared to the high-priced options in neighboring areas. Mission accomplished. 

Following one of TRIO’s own core mission’s centered around wellness, we came in early to establish a brand look and feel that reflects this idea of Alas Over Lowry being a center for well-being and not your average apartment community. We focused on the active and healthy lifestyle, while programming the theme of a health resort centrally located in Lowry’s vibrant, diverse neighborhood. 

GenslerOnLifestyle’s Novitsky writes, “crafting a distinctive point of view that distinguishes the property, and  presenting it in a memorable visual style, will create differentiation.” 

Since our marketing and branding teams established the overall vision for Alas Over Lowry, creating a brand strategy and identity were the next steps in our marketing process to make Alas Over Lowry a stand-out community. It is imperative to establish that identity through strong and relevant branding through font selection, colors, website design and development, signage and media messaging.  

Two of the most significant questions to ask when building a new community is, “who will live here?” and “how will they use the space?” 

Based on extensive market research of the location, our branding team deduced that single professionals, young families and empty nesters who want an active, healthy lifestyle with a sense of  community were the target demographic for Alas Over Lowry. Thus, the strategy for this unique community was to position it around the idea of wellness, creating a brand voice that gives an introspective, sophisticated, and optimistic tone while highlighting the luxurious amenities that make Alas Over Lowry above and beyond the competition.  

Creating a consistent brand story from the start of a project informs the entirety of the design process, from blueprints to ribbon cutting. No detail is too small when you’re creating a lifestyle for your target buyer.  

Holly Scott is Chief Revenue Officer for TRIO. She offers more than 25 years of executive experience in media, sales and marketing for a range of home design luxury media brands.