Personal & Company Branding: What Is Your Unique Promise of Value?

In marketing luxury real estate you only have a Nano-second to capture the attention of your ideal clients and communicate your unique promise of value. If your message promises to solve a problem or add significant value you have the best chance of gaining a new client.

When your branding is spot on it is your shortcut in this communication process. Your personal or company brand must send a clear, succinct message to your target through words, symbols and sounds, a message that must encapsulate the distinct benefits that will be derived from doing business with you vs. your competition. Identifying, then distilling your unique promise of value into a concise message is an art.  Here is an example of one company has mastered this art. 

Coffee is one of the most ubiquitous commodities in the world. As such it poses one of the biggest branding challenges on earth.  We give Seattle’s Best very high praise for breaking through the clutter and standing out in this highly competitive food category.  

They came up with a suite of 5 different coffees that suit the needs of the majority of coffee drinkers.  Their unique promise of value: making it easy to choose the perfect cup of coffee for you.  They call it the Level System. From light and bright Level 1 to dark and bold level 5 they claim that they have an expertly blended level for everyone. 

Can you see the brilliance behind this brand strategy? The next time you need to buy coffee you do not even need to remember the brand name. Just remember a number between 1 and 5. First they take the guesswork out of selecting the right blend.  Then, they make it impossible to forget your preference or the preference of whomever you are buying for.  “I’m a  #2 and my roommate is a #5”.   

For those, who are time-starved they just made life a little bit easier. They solved a common problem How can you distill your luxury real estate marketing message to accomplish the same goal?

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 7/10/2012 at 3:25 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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Personal and Company Branding: Is Your Slogan Engaging?

As a luxury real estate marketing professional do you have an engaging slogan? We have mentioned in a previous post, that using effective slogans as a personal branding and marketing strategy for real estate agents is an excellent way to differentiate you from the competition. The entire purpose of using a slogan is to engage your target market and get them talking about you.

Here is an example of a brand and a slogan that we noticed while dining in the town of Mathews, Virginia.  One glance and you know exactly what type of business this is and who their ideal customers are. It is brief, succinct and to the point.  And, it is humorous which captures attention. 

Is your slogan engaging?

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 7/9/2012 at 3:24 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: America’s Luxury-The New Entrepreneurial Spirit

It is a luxury to live in America. In the spirit of celebrating America’s birthday, we are sharing with you some quintessential American places  (and fabulous people we have met there) during our recent travels to work with some East Coast clients.  The definition for quintessential: is representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.  Quintessential is an essential word to know in the Language of Luxury.

We discovered The Inn at Tabbs Creek on the Internet.  Every online comment about the place was positive.  After a 3-hour drive in traffic from Reagan National on a hot Virginia day, we turned into to an expansive tree- lined driveway and this magnificent view of the Inn appeared (see photo).   We were warmly greeted and shown to our room via the flower gardens lovingly tended by owner Lori Dusenberry. Our room had a view of an inlet of the Chesapeake Bay. (see photo below)

Since it was dinnertime, our greeter, Lori’s brother, gave us suggestions and directions to restaurants in nearby Mathews, a quaint little town.  As we drove out, we noticed a large plot of land with a myriad of vegetables, the domain of owner, Greg Dusenberry, Lori’s husband.  These wonderful organic vegetables would be part of our breakfast for the two mornings we were there.  Lori and Greg exemplify the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovative thinking of an American family owned business.  We think this excerpt from their website expresses their ingenuity and their intentions perfectly.

“The main Inn is an 1880's newly renovated farmhouse with a separate cottage housing the luxury suites just across the garden and pool. An eco-friendly and certified Virginia Green lodging establishment, The Inn at Tabbs Creek is just the place if you appreciate the natural splendor of the outdoors yet want the luxury and comfort of a casual B&B. We have also partnered with Carbonfund.org to pay for our carbon offsets, so that you may stay "Guilt Free"! (or at least, Carbon Neutral).”

Our breakfasts at the Inn were the culinary highlights of our trip.  We had crabmeat omelets with their fresh crabs harvested that morning, and fresh steamed asparagus. The previous morning we enjoyed a sausage quiche with heirloom tomatoes from Greg’s organic garden. The muffins, filled with fresh local berries, came right out of their oven, piping hot, to our table.

Our hosts graciously invited our clients to join us for our breakfast feasts on both days of our stay. We felt pampered, loved and definitely spoiled.

The Inn at Tabs Creek is a quintessential American place, with its picturesque setting, its superb cuisine and especially the generosity of spirit that was extended to us. It definitely rivals any of the French or Italian countryside inns that we have experienced.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 7/5/2012 at 3:22 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: America’s Luxury: Localvores

Localvores, a word coined in 2007 in San Francisco, defines a growing trend of eating foods grown in one’s geographical area.   The numbers of farmers selling directly to consumers has doubled in the years between 1997 and 2007, and is continuing that doubling trend according to the US Department of Agriculture.  This trend has enhanced the economy of local communities. Eating local is considered important as part of a healthy diet.

Part of our luxury real estate marketing research, as we travel to our clients’ marketplaces, includes exploring the local foods.  In Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay our clients took us to lunch at Merroir which overlooks the Chesapeake Bay.  Merroir (smart branding) is a play on the word “Terroir”. This is a French word term used in wines, chocolate, and coffee to describe the unique attributes of the area’s soil and climatic conditions which gives a distinct taste to that particular wine or food. And, "Mer" means sea in French, as "Terre" means earth.

Merroir is a tasting room for oysters grown locally in different areas of the water.  According to co-owner Travis Croxton, “Every oyster is influenced by its marine surrounding, and you can taste those differences.”   Three types of oysters are on the menu: Rappahannock River Oysters, Stingray Oysters and Olde Salt Oysters.  The Rappahannock River Oysters are raised in the tail end of the river of the same name, where the freshwater meets the saltwater of the bay and are sweeter. Stingrays grown in Mobjack Bay are saltier. The Olde Salt Oyster from the Chincoteague Island is the saltiest of the three.  The limited menu includes steamed clams, crab cakes, salads and fried green tomatoes.

We loved the Rappahannock River Oysters.  We also ordered crab cakes (grown locally and fresh that morning) and sampled fried green tomatoes.  It was gourmet heaven.   So if you ever find yourself anywhere near the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, make sure you stop at Merroir‘s.  They are open Wednesday through Sunday.   We are thankful for all the localvores in America.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 7/3/2012 at 3:20 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing: America’s Luxury: Warm, Welcoming People

It is a luxury to live in America, and in the spirit of celebrating America’s birthday, we are sharing with you some of the most quintessential places and people we have experienced in our recent travels to our clients marketplaces.  The definition for quintessential: is representing the most perfect or typical example of a quality or class.  This is also in our opinion one of the facets which defines luxury.

Captain Stannard House

Country Inn in Westbrook, Connecticut

This is where we learned from Jim and Mary Brewster (the owners of this wonderful bed and breakfast), this sentence, “We cannot wait to spoil you”.  And they were true to their words.  If you read our blog, you probably saw   the picture of the tasty brownies treats on the dresser.  Breakfasts were delicious, and the common areas comfortable and inviting.  The House has been lovingly restored, and the work was done by an architect who specializes in restoring and building homes that are a 100 years old. 

After dinner, we spent the evenings in the living room on comfortable leather couches catching up with our correspondence.  We felt completely at home.  The Stannard Inn is located one block from the beach, where the Atlantic meets the river.  We came in strangers and we left as friends, and that is one of America’s luxury traits—warm and welcoming people.  We are looking forward to our next visit.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 7/2/2012 at 3:16 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: "Real Books" In Luxury Home Design

As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is important to keep up with the trends of luxury home design.  Although kitchens, man/woman caves, master suites are still considered as leaders in exceptional home designs, the home library is emerging as a “must have room” in luxury homes and apartments.   Architectural Design magazine has dedicated a large portion of their recent issues to library designs, featuring many luxury homes with exceptional libraries.

The idea of having a home library can be traced to Roman times.  A sign of a well respected Roman was demonstrated by his library regardless of whether he could read or not.  It was a symbol of status and intelligence.  Today’s home owners are designing llibraries as an expression of their personality, a retreat from all the usual home noises, a way to display  their book collections, and a  comfortable place to curl up to read a book. 

With the advent of digital readers, and the closing of many of the larger book chain stores (Borders and Barnes & Noble), it seemed that “real” books were doomed to extinction.  However, used book stores are reporting a large uptick in sales to a new customer base: 30 plus years old.  These young homeowners are walking in to buy books by the foot, or specific collections to display in their newly designed libraries.  They want their children to experience “real” books. Rare book dealer Donald Heald a 40 year old New York company has noticed that his clientele now also includes  a growing number of individuals in their 30’s.

"If you want to own a great atlas of London from the 18th century, that when you hold it in your hands you're transported, there is no app for that," Mr. Heald says.

The trend for a library in the home is also appearing in median home prices. Many home owners are building shelves for books.  DIY shows and magazines are giving detailed instructions on how to build shelving and library nooks.  From a book lovers’ perspective, it is reassuring that all things digital do not always rule the home roost.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Keep Your Message Brief

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to communicate who you are and what you do with words and imagery.  Your collateral materials and web site should articulate the essence of your brand in a nanosecond.

We often attribute the quote of “A picture is worth a 1000 words” to Confucius.  However, research shows that this attribution to Confucius was given by an advertiser named Fred Barnard who said he called it a Chinese proverb, so that people would take it seriously”. As time went on, Confucius was credited with this adage. Mr. Barnard promoted the use of images on the sides of streetcars as part of an advertisement.  His sentence was “One Look is Worth a Thousand Words (1921 trade journal, Printer’s Ink.)  In another ad in 1927, Mr. Barnard used the phrase, “One Picture is Worth Ten Thousand Words”

More research reveals that in the novel Fathers and Sons written in 1862, the Russian writer Ivan Turgenev wrote, “A picture shows me at a glance what it takes dozens of pages of a book to expound.”

Here is an example of a picture is worth a thousand words.  The entrance to the small 6 acre Dog and Oyster Vineyard in Virginia is flanked by two corkscrew sculptures each measuring 40 feet.  There are no signs needed to express what is happening here.

So keep your message brief, your pictures bright and expressive so you don’t need 1000 or 10,000 words to say it.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/27/2012 at 12:32 PM
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The Ultimate Man Cave

At the surface level, the concept of a man cave can evoke a lot of questions. Why does a man need a refuge from the rest of his home? What’s the female equivalent to a man cave? (Hint: don't say the kitchen.) If a guy doesn't care about the decor or fixtures of his home, why does he suddenly place so much value on having a personal space in which he can do whatever he wants? Even though this unexplained need for personal space is not unlike the teenager who demands his or her own room and the creative freedom to decorate said room however possible, the fact remains that many men want -- and get -- a room in the home they can call their own.

The contents of these man caves can vary from one to the next, but common fixtures include ample comfortable seating, entertainment in the form of a television, a video game system or gaming table supporting billiard, ping pong and/or air hockey, and -- perhaps more importantly -- no trace whatsoever of the feminine touch that in many cases pervades the rest of the home.

And even though guys might shudder when interior decor is brought up, it's just as likely that they'll get highly territorial and opinionated when it comes to dressing up the walls of a man cave. With that in mind, it's wise to approach a man cave's design both practically and systematically to make sure it becomes everything he wants.

Choosing a focal point

The focal point of a man cave should be whatever the man considers to be the most important fixture. In most cases, that's a flat-screen television, but alternatives include a foosball or gaming table computer or even a bar. The rest of the room's trappings can be built around this centerpiece, letting you arrange furniture and choosing complimenting entertainment features.

Establishing a theme

Is the guy in question a big sports fan? Does he own some sort of collection he’d like to display? Does he want his man cave to be an homage to a certain person or entity? In this case, the best approach is to let the man exercise his own creative muscles. If that means walls littered with Spiderman posters, so be it. If one corner is devoted to an extensive trucker hat collection, that's his choice.

Man caves often depart from the decor of the rest of the home, and in a fair number of instances that decor may lack consistency itself. But if the goal is to provide a man with a space that is all his own, then the best approach is to let him make all the decisions -- and live with the results.

Rounding out the offerings

Once the basics are in place, the rest of the room can be filled in with smaller furniture and accessories. For the female in a shared living situation, this can be a good opportunity to move that Die Hard collector's set from the main living room into the man cave, where it’ll be better appreciated and less visible to the casual visitor. In many cases, this work can be done on the cheap by simply arranging furniture and installing some basic features into the room.

For more intensive man cave projects requiring renovating a room, such as to install a bar area, higher costs and greater planning may be involved. In these cases, it’s wise to talk to a contractor ahead of time to get a sense of the estimated costs of these plans.

In the end, the ultimate man cave is simply one that provides an entertaining respite for a man and his friends. Such a setup can cost as much or as little as you want depending on what you want and what you already have to outfit the room. Some people choose to sink a considerable amount of money into having a multi-purpose entertaining room, but if you decide to do that, don't expect the women to politely bend over backwards and give you full reign of your domain.

This article was provided by Jessica Stark. Jessica is interested in gardening and DIY projects. She enjoys spending time outdoors and blogging on behalf of Sears and other brands she loves. Image via atgcustom.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/26/2012 at 3:41 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: What is your “VA” (Value Added)--Part 2?

To distinguish yourself as a luxury real estate marketing professional you must be able to instantly articulate how you stand out from your competition You must be able to answer the question: What is your “VA” (Value Added). 

Most of what used to differentiate you,  such as  integrity, competence and local market knowledge is simply not enough. These attributes have become the commodities of the trade in the same way MLS search, via IDX, has become a commodity on any broker or agent website. 

For purveyors of luxury goods and services the #1 challenge is commoditization.  Sooner or later, without offering a strong Value Added service, you will have to resort to competing just based on price.  Look what is happening in retail!

An increasingly large numbers consumers are doing their shopping research at retail stores but do not actually buy there. Instead, they comparison shop for the best prices online (sometimes right in the store with their smart phones).  At sites such as Amazon, they can purchase the same product for less in one click and also get free 2-day shipping. Or, perhaps, the consumer discovers that the same item is on sale at a competing store just a few blocks away.  

BACK TO THE FUTURE

During a recent business trip to the East Coast we were able to spend some time  checking out the specialty shops and boutiques in Georgetown, Washington D.C.. There, we discovered the Keith Lipert Gallery who specializes in contemporary, affordable fashion jewelry and decorative art. Lipert travels the fashion and cultural capitals of the world to find distinctive pieces that are often crafted by small family-owned businesses.  His clientele is both sophisticated and international, people who not only appreciate his adroitness at discovering unique hidden treasures, but also appreciate his extraordinary personalized service.

As customers peruse the displays of fashion jewelry, Lipert will approach them with an item that he feels would suit them and insists they try it on with his assistance.   There is no pressure here. He just wants to make your shopping experience extraordinary, like it used to be in Europe and still is in some cases.  It allows him to engage his customers in a dialogue that does well beyond self-service. 

This “back to the future” customer service approach plus his offering of unique items that cannot be found elsewhere is his VA.  What is yours?

To read what is your value added, Part 1, click here.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/26/2012 at 1:49 PM
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Marketing Luxury Real Estate Tip: A Picture is Worth a 1000 Words!

As a luxury real estate marketing professional it is important to communicate who you are and what you do with words and imagery.  Your collateral materials and web site should articulate the essence of your brand in a nanosecond.

Here is an example that was pointed out to us by our clients in the Virginia Chesapeake marketplace.   Notice how the building columns are designed.  What a wonderful way to capture the attention of your target market with humor and bring a smile to everyone's face.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/25/2012 at 9:23 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: What Is Your “VA” (Value Added)?

As you approach the realm of market leadership the difference between good and great service in the field of marketing luxury real estate cannot be measured by the degree of competency and integrity. The fundamentals of successfully engineering real estate transactions are the same; you cannot get away with incompetence and lack of integrity for very long.  So how do you differentiate yourself from your closest competitors if market leadership is your quest? 

The answer is the value that you add.  Added value is the extra service that you offer that your competitors do not include in their winning formula.  Here is an example. 

There are many aviation brokers who provide the service of buying, selling or leasing private jets. We recently met an aviation broker who put his company in a class unto itself by offering his clients an extra service that they cannot find anywhere else. His firm   targets Fortune 500 companies exclusively and offers them a consulting service to help them analyze the most cost efficient way to allocate their resources for private aviation 

As expert number crunchers in this very narrow niche they position themselves as trusted advisors rather than mere brokers and immediately set themselves far apart from their competition who just broker planes. They basically break even in terms of being compensated as consultants. But, they are awarded the business as brokers because they thoroughly understand the specific needs of their corporate clients. As a result, they can represent their clients’ interest far better than their competitors.  At the Fortune 500 level the rewards are obviously worth it.  This formula simply would not work for the private aviation needs of small to mid-sized firms. 

This aviation brokerage firm identified an uncontested market niche that they could satisfy better than anyone else in the world of private aviation for Fortune 500 companies.  As a result they create added value as consultants by saving these large companies  a significant amount of time and money. Their analysis provides an objective criteria for making private aviation decisions to buy, sell or lease planes. 

They do not need a clever “sales pitch” to ace out their competition.  They do not need to lower their brokerage commission rate to win business.   Nor, do they need to know the right people who can get them “in the door”. Their consulting service is the answer to the prayers of their clients.  They are the perfect match to the real needs of their clients. 

As a luxury real estate marketing professional can your “VA”,or added value,be?

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/21/2012 at 8:22 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: We Cannot Wait to Spoil You

In our travels to Connecticut to work with one of our clients we stayed at a charming Bed & Breakfast Inn.  Before we arrived we received a welcome letter that said, “We cannot wait to spoil you”. And, indeed we were spoiled in so many ways!  Let this be your mantra for providing extraordinary service with exceptional care as a luxury real estate marketing professional.  

One of the many ways in which we were spoiled was a plateful of little “mid-night snacks” that awaited us when we returned to our room at night, with a personal note. The first night it was some nibbles of rhubarb crumble.  The next night it was tiny morsels of brownies.  The husband and wife proprietors were extremely gracious and made us feel very much at home. 

The last night we were there we went to a great seafood restaurant that was located within a seaside hotel (not ours).  Before our entree was served, a fire alarm sounded and the entire restaurant had to be evacuated.   

The “fire drill” was not a bad experience; nothing serious actually happend.  Instead we had the opportunity to meet some of the other patrons of the restaurant who were delightful.  For our inconvenience, however, we were comped coffee and dessert.  

Think of running your luxury real estate marketing practice like a B&B or a great hotel How can you provide this level of extraordinary service, in your practice?  Think hospitality vs. real estate.  Then let your clients know that you cannot wait to spoil them.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/20/2012 at 9:52 AM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: The Next Trend Is Experiential Marketing

In our post, “Meet the Henrys”, we emphasized that this demographic (High Earner Not Rich Yet) values experiences over ownership of objects.  This trend has become evident in every segment of the luxury goods and services market.   Lifestyle is now of paramount importance especially when it comes to marketing luxury real estate.  In marketing a luxury home, it is more important to tell the story of the lifestyle rather than focusing on granite countertops or mahogany floors.

For instance, people who are moving to Santa Barbara are willing to own smaller homes because they want to live the “outdoor” lifestyle that the environment offers.  The experience is more important than the size of the home.  Their focus is the weather, the beach, the cycling trails, the hiking venues, golfing, sailing, fishing and kayaking.  Others want to walk to the downtown area for shopping, restaurants, and theaters.     

In Aspen, the Aspen Institute is an important market draw.  Its stated mission is twofold: “to foster values-based leadership, encouraging individuals to reflect on the ideals and ideas that define a good society, and to provide a neutral and balanced venue for discussing and acting on critical issues.”  The Institute has a broad appeal for tourist as well as for affluent Aspen home owners.

Sell your market on the lifestyle benefits they would derive from moving to and living in your community. Smart agents will take clients for lunch in their harbor/beach area, so that their guests can feel what it would be like to live in their town on the waterfront.  Others will invite them for lunch at an exclusive club on top of the highest mountain peak.  In urban communities, such as New York, walking to a great restaurant for lunch from their apartment may seal the deal. 

Be mindful of this experiential trend and apply it to your marketing strategies.   That is, if you are interested in the “unabashed pursuit of market leadership”, as we say.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


Marketing Luxury Real Estate: The Luxury of Putting Life Back into the World

What would you do if you won the lottery and the money took care of all your needs?  What would you do with the excess funds?  Would you leave a legacy for others to enjoy?

“The relation with the world that I want is to be putting life back into the world, rather than taking life out of it.”—W.S. Merwin

U.S.  Poet Laureate and two time Pulitzer winner, W.S.  Merwin decided to grow a forest of palm trees on 19 acres of officially designated wasteland on the north shore Maui, Hawaii. He has gathered palm seeds from various botanical gardens worldwide. 

The forest has been grown sustainably with recycled water, and solar energy. Within this windswept region of microclimates various specimens of palm are thriving including a rare treasured palm from Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean.  Mr. Merwin remarks “I know nothing about Reunion Island, but where a tree grows you have a place.”  Botanists have actually catalogued over 2500 species of palms trees globally.

His love of trees began at a young age, Mr. Merwin remarks, ‘My father was very repressive.  As a child I didn’t trust the feelings of pretty well anyone except my mother.  But I trusted the tree in the backyard.  We were friends.  If I could talk to it, it would talk to me.  But I did not know how”.

“Later in life I was talking to the biologist, E.O. Wilson about that, and he said talking to trees was not silly at all. “The trees gene code is much older than yours,” he said, It’s not withholding anything.  If you know how to talk, it will tell you everything you want.” 

The Mervin Conservancy is his legacy.  Check out the web site and the video as Mr. Merwin takes you on an enchanting tour of the forest.

“In between twenty-five or thirty years I have planted about 850 species of palms, and at least four or five times that many actual trees. I have had no map….We both hope that the whole of this land can eventually become a palm sanctuary. Just being here, with the garden, the `palm forest,’ all around us, day after day, I think has taught me a great deal.” —W.S. Merwin

What will your legacy be?

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/13/2012 at 6:16 PM
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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tip: Meet the Henrys!

As a luxury real estate marketing professional you need to understand the Henrys.  HENRY is the acronym for “High Earner, Not Rich Yet”.  This level of affluent has an income of $100,000-249,999.  What is of note is that the Henrys’ have increased their spending in the luxury sector, and they are probably the ones that have contributed to the uptick in home purchasing. 

According to the Luxury Market Report by Unity Marketing, Henrys make up 80% of the affluent marketplace, which is equivalent to 21.3 million households in the United States, a significant number in the luxury market.  Their resurgence as buyers of luxury goods is a positive sign for the economy.  They are the spenders in the category referred to as “accessible luxury”.  Brands in the accessible luxury pantheon include Coach, Ralph Lauren, Tiffany, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, Michael Kors, Tommy Bahama, Restoration Hardware, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and Williams Sonoma. 

The mood of the Henrys is positive about the economy and optimistic about the future.  They will spend on experiences such as travel, the highest luxury spending category, because they identify themselves with what they have done more than what they own.  When they buy a home they want to hear the “story” of the home and the experience they will have living there.  In selling a home to the Henrys, stay away from the sales pitch and emphasize the emotional experience they will derive from their new lifestyle.

This blog posting has been provided by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, the Language of Luxury Community Founders and managing partners of Napa Consultants, International, the leading luxury real estate strategic marketing firm. They specialize in personal and company branding, luxury real estate website design and social media marketing. Photos courtesy of Ron and Alexandra.


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Posted by: Nicole Lauber
Posted on: 6/12/2012 at 3:38 PM
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Categories: Luxury Guest Writers | Luxury Real Estate
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