The first question Kelly Fink asked her new bosses at The Providence Group when she accepted the job of vice president of marketing and online sales four years ago was: “What is your brand?”
“From the outside coming in, I didn’t see a consistent brand,” she recalls. “I came in and learned what the brand was, and I said, ‘The public doesn’t understand your brand.’”
That, she said, was a missed opportunity for the luxury home builder, as it was one of a dwindling number of Atlanta builders that had survived the recession without having to change its name or its business model.
“People didn’t know who those [competitors] were; they had to start from scratch,” Fink says. “The Providence Group came out of the recession with our name intact, but we weren’t doing a great job of using it effectively. Why wouldn’t we do that?”
They do now. Fink and her staff spent a year rebranding the high-end builder, which develops large communities of single-family homes, townhomes, and condominiums in Atlanta’s most well-heeled neighborhoods. They changed everything from the logo to the tag line to the colors the builder used in its literature. And now they use only those re-created elements across the board: in ads, banners, fliers, signs, literature, and online.
“People tell me, ‘Every time I turn around I see one of your signs,’” notes Fink. “If we weren’t consistent, people wouldn’t even notice.”
The rebranding has worked so well, she says, that she’s expanding the concept. For the builder’s newest planned community, Bellmoore Park, the marketing group created a brand-within-a-brand in an effort to give the 600-home neighborhood, which will take eight years to build in Atlanta’s affluent Johns Creek suburb, a distinct personality. This time, notes Fink, “we’re creating a brand that people will aspire to.” To that end, the elegant Bellmoore Park website—which includes the Providence logo and tag line plus a separate, but complementary, Bellmoore Park logo on every page—aims to speak to mature buyers who can afford homes priced from $400,000 to $1 million. Shortly after the community brand launched, more than 800 potential buyers had registered for a VIP list for updates on the development and invitations to presentations about it. And more than 100 had indicated their interest in phase 1, in which homes will sell for upward of $600,000.
The separate brand, Fink says, created a “buzz that might not have been as strong” if the exclusive neighborhood didn’t have its own identity. She credits much of the builder’s growth spurt to its enhanced presence on social media, YouTube, Pinterest, and its own carefully crafted new website with a dedicated online sales specialist.“I don’t know why builders are hesitant to add that position,” she says. “It’s proven itself for us and for many other builders. It’s definitely somewhere you need to spend your money."