While price, location and architecture were once enough to command the attention of both editors and consumers in Toronto’s condominium sector, smart developers quickly realized that to really stand out and succeed in a hyper-competitive residential real estate market, projects must have a compelling and unique story to tell.
Given that the project location, target audience and early marketing was skewing to a more male-centric position, the project’s PR firm, Brandon Communications, recognized a unique opportunity to define the project and distinguish it from the pack.
Brandon suggested the team embrace and enhance the project’s masculine profile.
Despite some apprehension around the sales and marketing table about identifying the project so closely with a specific buyer profile, Brandon urged the team to pursue this positioning, arguing that the key to a successful PR campaign was to have something different to say.
With the ultimate support of the developers, Brandon pushed to ensure the brand positioning applied across all consumer touch points (including in the design of the suites and common areas, the amenities provided, and in the marketing creative.) The support for this positioning by the team, including Cecconi Simone, Baker Real Estate and Blackjet, allowed Brandon to create a PR campaign that resonated with media, was organic and was distinctive.
The resulting editorial exposure aligned with Blackjet’s creative, driving widespread coverage and headlines that announced “It’s a Man’s World”, or promised “Cufflinks and Condos: The Rise of the Man Refuge”.
The brand positioning was featured in radio and television (with designer Elaine Cecconi appearing live on Global Morning to discuss masculine condo finishes), and was the subject of much debate on several high profile civic blogs and in influential online real estate forums.
The widespread media attention helped INDX become the fastest selling condo project in the GTA in the first quarter of 2012. Despite the early success, the project had more units to sell and the developers looked to Brandon and the project consultants to create the next chapter in the INDX story.
With insight from the sales team that the key to success lay in driving traffic, Brandon revised its PR approach… no longer determined to simply build awareness, the public relations firm introduced a strategy designed to build traffic, which featured a series of purchaser events and incentives (many of these initiatives resulted in additional media coverage).
Among the most successful of these traffic building initiatives was a popular food truck event, which offered office workers a free deli lunch (courtesy of “Thundering Thelma”- the mobile version of Caplansky’s Deli) just for touring through the sales centre…and more than 500 of Bay Street’s hungriest bankers, traders and consultants visited INDX that day!
Other PR tactics, intended to drive sales centre traffic, leveraged social media and the developers’ viral network.
Among the most successful efforts of this type was a whimsical program designed to build “followers”, called the Heat INDX. Driven primarily by social media, with traditional and online media exposure, the developers leveraged their social media channels to announce that INDX would be distributing free ice cream from the sales centre each day the temperature rose above 30 degrees.
As the temperatures spiked through August, so did traffic and sales!
CHALLENGE: A new condo in a hyper-competitive neighbourhood needs to stand out. How does a developer create a sense of optimism in a marketplace fraught with negativity?
SOLUTION: Brandon created a strategic plan that looked at the PR challenges presented by the developers, as PR opportunities.
CHALLENGE: When a relatively new development company, with limited brand awareness, launches its “first” project it can be difficult to get attention in today’s hyper-competitive media marketplace.
SOLUTION: Brandon took its inspiration from the dream team of consultants client Henry Strasser and Phantom Developments selected for Jade’s architecture, interior design, marketing and sales.
CHALLENGE: When Lifetime and CentreCourt dubbed their new project Karma, it wasn’t just another name- it was a mission statement and an indication that the developers wanted to do, and say, something different…
SOLUTION: Brandon Communications managed an aggressive PR campaign for Karma that leveraged the project’s creative positioning, to deliver impactful and sustained print and broadcast coverage.
CHALLENGE: With mortgage rule changes, irrational fears of an investor driven market and increasingly negative headlines about the housing industry, Toronto’s condo market saw a significant cooling off in the middle of last year and a corresponding erosion in consumer confidence.
SOLUTION: Brandon Communications put in place a strategy that leveraged the project’s existing high levels of brand awareness to recalibrate the significance of its anticipated opening.
The Challenge:Liberty Development turned to Brandon Communications to tell the story of the GTA’s largest single phased mixed-use development because they were looking for results that were out of this world… fitting since the developer and their marketing team branded the project World on Yonge.
The Solution: In just over a year, Brandon’s focused media relations and community relations program helped build awareness and comprehension with local ratepayers…
The Challenge: The key to a successful PR campaign lies in having something to say, and Amacon’s Parkside Village community gave Brandon Communications a lot to talk about!
The Solution: Using a focused, year-long PR strategy, Brandon’s program was designed to seed the “urban village”, make local urban planning an “issue” and build the developer’s profile.