February 22, 2022
6 Steps to Forming a Compelling Brand Story for Master-Planned Community Marketing
A master-planned community should be more than just a place – it’s a destination with a vision of a specific lifestyle, desirable homes, a sought-after location, amenities, opportunities for neighborhood connections and so much more.
To fully express the benefits and scope of a master-planned community there must be more than uninspiring marketing or promotion. Instead, it should be shared with a great story – proven by neuroscience to be an incredible way to capture attention, improve recall and create meaningful connections.
Brand storytelling acts as a fantastic way to fully showcase a master-planned community’s value in a way that resonates with your target buyers. Excellent storytelling starts with creativity, vision and thorough research, and it’s vital for achieving a successful master-planned community marketing strategy.
A strong master-planned community story not only sells homes but also builds a greater brand affinity among prospective homebuyers and new homeowners. Below, we’ll explore the purpose behind master-planned community storytelling, the benefits and the steps to creating a story that sticks with your homebuyers.
What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is the process of combining facts and narrative elements to share a core message or values about your master-planned community that evoke an emotional response. These stories are meant to spark vivid imagery and visions of a lifestyle that could be if homebuyers choose to live in your community.
There are several benefits to telling a compelling story that shares your master-planned community with prospective homebuyers – let’s dive into them!
Helps Differentiate the Community
Homebuyers have several options to choose from to find their new home – why should it be your master-planned community? This is where storytelling comes in to share what makes your community uniquely special through an alluring narrative. Does your community offer luxurious homes with cutting-edge features, high-end amenities, access to desirable local attractions or schools – this is your opportunity to let those distinct differentiators shine!
Offers a Sense of Belonging
When you tell a story about a place and the people who live there, it transforms the lens through which homebuyers view communities. With the help of storytelling, the community is no longer just somewhere to live, it’s a place where homeowners can be part of a like-minded community filled with individuals seeking the same enjoyment and lifestyles as themselves. The effect of community and providing a sense of belonging is incredibly powerful, especially when it comes to choosing the ideal place to call home.
Evokes Emotion from Homebuyers
Homebuyers want more from a home than just a place to live because it’s truly so much more than that. It’s a place where memories are made, families grow and loved ones come together. Thus, when they look for a home, they want to find somewhere that makes them feel safe, happy and excited for new possibilities. Storytelling acts as a way to provide that valuable connection they’re looking for by transforming the community’s assets into a charming, imaginative narrative about the adventure of finding their new home.
Builds Stronger Buyer Relationships
Part of achieving strong sales always comes down to forming strong relationships with your buyers. Luckily, storytelling acts as a fantastic opportunity to engage your audience and connect through content. No matter where they come across your community branding or story – your website, advertisements, social media, etc. – this is a wonderful way to improve brand awareness, recall and engagement significantly.
6 Steps to Creating a Compelling Story
Now, it’s time to get started writing a captivating story – let’s walk through the steps from uncovering the community’s unique charm to finally bringing your narrative to life!
1. Dive into the Project Details
First, it’s important to make a full assessment of the project and the land details. Take time to go over various planning aspects including the land plan, community goals and timelines. During this process, take time to learn what makes this property unique? What will this location, property, community offer unlike any other?
Not only should you examine the project itself, but you should go look deeper into the surrounding area and the people that make it up. What is the culture like, and what is a typical lifestyle for residents of the area?
2. Assess Competing Communities
If your development is located in a highly sought-after area, chances are that your master-planned community isn’t the only one competing for buyers in the area. To begin differentiating your community with a unique story, it’s important to examine competitors to determine the gaps your development can fill.
Start by assessing the strengths of other local master-planned communities – what draws in buyers and differentiates the location? It’s also beneficial to evaluate where the community may be lacking. What do homebuyers want that they aren’t able to find at these other master-planned communities? Looking deeper into those gaps and developing solutions within your development provides your community with a strong competitive advantage and an enticing story.
3. Determine your Target Audience
As with all marketing strategies, it’s crucial to know who makes up your target audience. With a deeper understanding of who your messages are intended for, you can craft an effective story that truly resonates and draws in new leads.
How would you describe the ideal buyer for your master-planned community? What are they hoping for in a new home and community – lavish homes, incredible location, access to extraordinary amenities, connection to nature?
To determine your target buyers, it may be beneficial to study local homebuyers, buyers who commonly move to the area or the typical customers of similar competing master-planned communities. Digging into their preferences and pain points will provide you with valuable buyer personas that allow you to form a story that resonates.
4. Develop an Overarching Theme
The next step is all about taking what you’ve learned and capturing it with a compelling theme and story. Knowing your customers’ wants and needs, plans for the community and the background of competing master-planned communities, you can determine the most compelling aspects of your community to develop an underlying theme. To do so, consider what your competitors are missing, what your buyers expect to find in a new home and how your master-planned community uniquely fits in between.
After determining the most captivating factor of your community, you must connect the benefit with an emotionally driven sentiment. Why should homebuyers care about these community advantages? How will it elevate their lifestyles and meet their needs? No community is simply a community, it’s a place where residents can live, play and grow – it’s all about painting a picture of the possibilities to come.
Examples of developed themes from our branding projects with master-planned communities include:
- Avion – “Homes with convenient proximity to the Denver International Airport and Downtown Denver” became “A community that connects the world with the city”
- Southshore – “Homes with close proximity to a large reservoir” became “It’s not just a reservoir, it’s your lake”
- Solstice – “Community that is intersected by The High Line Canal and is directly adjacent to Chatfield Lake and State Park” became “Home Sweet High Line, A connected getaway”
- The Summit – “An elevated Colorado community that sits around 6,600 feet above sea level” became “A community designed for peak experiences, A vantage point for daily inspiration”
5. Involve the Audience Within the Story
The key to any sale is to put the customer at the forefront, and the same is true when it comes to brand storytelling. Ultimately, your master-planned community story shouldn’t revolve around what the community has to offer; it should be focused on the lifestyles that homebuyers can achieve by living there. Every homebuyer is interested in what their lives will look like depending on the home they choose. A strong master-planned community story answers that question and showcases all the possibilities that await them by making homebuyers the heroes of the narrative.
6. Integrate the Story throughout Branding Materials
Once you’ve formed your master-planned community story, it’s time to bring it to life! This starts with cohesive branding from start to finish, ensuring that a consistent story and theme are shared throughout your marketing strategy. From community signages to all online marketing, print or digital advertisements, website, social media and more, the community story should be endlessly unfolding across all creative marketing elements.
Moving forward, you need a marketing strategy that effectively incorporates your community story with mesmerizing imagery and thematic copy. If done well, the master-planned community won’t just have a narrative, it will truly embody the story in the minds of homebuyers.
Bonus Step: Partner with Master-Planned Community Branding Experts
A master-planned community should be memorable – and there’s no better way to capture homebuyer attention than with alluring, emotion-driven storytelling.
At Milesbrand, crafting exceptional master-planned community stories is what we do best, From Land to Brand. We uncover your community’s most compelling differentiation and transform it into a captivating story.
Contact us to get started working with our team to tell an exceptional master-planned community story!