Setting Solstice Apart With Location-Inspired Community Branding

August 31, 2021

Setting Solstice Apart With Location-Inspired Community Branding

When positioning a master-planned community against competitors, it’s essential to consider its key differentiators – its unique elements that set it apart. What distinct qualities does the community possess to offer an appealing advantage to its ideal target audience? Why should prospective homebuyers call this particular master-planned community their new home?

Developing master-planned community branding that answers these questions starts with a powerful core message or value. It’s vital for this brand message to simultaneously speak to the community’s appeal and evoke an emotional response from homebuyers.

When we developed master-planned community branding for Solstice from Shea Homes, we knew the development had undeniable appeal that we wanted to capture through a memorable branding campaign. Below, we offer insight into the background of this unparalleled community, delve into how our team showcased its unbeatable qualities to the perfect target audience, and share the campaign’s incredible results.

Background

Solstice is a boutique master-planned community that was created by well-known home builder Shea Homes. Previously, Milesbrand has worked with Shea Homes on several extraordinary projects, and Solstice was no exception.

Located in Littleton, Colorado, Solstice is a memorable community that resides on Colorado’s beloved High Line Canal. Solstice offers convenient access to the High Line Canal trail, which runs through the community, as well as proximity to the Chatfield Reservoir, a 1,423-acre lake found within Chatfield State Park. This nearby park offers a wide array of opportunities to engage in exciting outdoor activities including hiking, swimming, boating, canoeing, waterskiing, fishing, camping, biking and more.

Brand Challenge

The primary obstacle Solstice faced was how to differentiate itself against its largest competitor. Located only three miles away from Solstice, the competing master-planned community offers 12,000 homes. The foremost challenge of the campaign was presenting an effective brand appeal to the two communities’ shared target audiences.

How could Solstice tell a remarkable story that truly resonated with homebuyers and offered desirable core values? The ideal target audience for Solstice included first-time buyers, move-up families and active adults – homebuyers from all walks (or rhythms) of life! The objective of this campaign was to develop a pre-sale launch strategy that would strengthen brand reach, bolster homeowner interest with strong brand differentiation and generate high-quality leads.

Key Insight

After assessing the master-planned community and its location, Milesbrand noted several key advantages that could be highlighted to win over homebuyers.

First, it is a smaller and thus more intimate master-planned community than its larger competitor. This is a great community for homebuyers seeking a master-planned development that wants more than just a home, but a community with a welcoming atmosphere and friendly neighbors. While a larger master-planned development may lack this intimate environment, Solstice offered the opportunity for homeowners to feel part of a cherished community.

Second, the High Line Canal intersects through the community offering convenient access to this amenity. This proximity to the High Line Canal offers residents direct access to 71 miles of hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Known as a Denver treasure, the High Line Canal acted as a highly enticing quality that defined the Solstice community. Solstice residents receive the unique chance to stay active by easily taking advantage of the High Line Canal trails just a few steps from their front door!

Third, Solstice is located directly adjacent to Chatfield Lake and State Park. These facilities offer residents plenty of convenient greenspace, as well the opportunity to participate in fun activities. The park provides an additional 3,894 acres of open space, a dazzling lake and an abundance of outdoor activities. Solstice distinctively offers ample choices for its homeowners to enjoy and explore the great outdoors from the comfort of their community. This one-of-a-kind community offers both the personal neighborhood connections homeowners need, as well as the relaxing nature haven they desire to find!

Brand Strategy

After gleaning key insights from Solstice, Milesbrand endeavored to create an exceptional brand strategy to effectively communicate the master-planned community’s best qualities to homebuyers in a compelling way. The focal point Milesbrand chose was centered around claiming the High Line Canal as an amenity of the master-planned community. The setting of the Solstice community inspired the entirety of its branding and marketing efforts. This was an exclusive promise that distinguished Solstice from every other master-planned community in the Denver area.

To convey this feature in a heartfelt way, Milesbrand chose a tagline that connected the Canal with a sense of comfort – “Home Sweet High Line.” Using this simplistic tagline easily combined the safety and delight of feeling at home with the surroundings of the remarkable Colorado landscape. Milesbrand focused on establishing a brand image that instantly alluded to both the comfort and amenities of the neighborhood. For Solstice’s branding core messages, Milesbrand prioritized showcasing the community’s perfect sizing, natural amenities and purposeful design intended to complement the High Line life.

Tactics

For the Solstice community, Milesbrand implemented several master-planned community branding tactics to establish an inherent brand image and compelling values. The new logo for Solstice is a circular design that incorporates orange and gray with small inclusions of white, blue and red that are reminiscent of the natural hues and tranquility. Through High Line-inspired haiku poems and four-season photography of the community’s natural surroundings, Milesbrand accentuated how Solstice is designed to celebrate the beauty of home, nature, and season. Inviting community messaging targeted toward prospective homebuyers included:

  • “Come for the nature. Stay for the neighbors.”
  • “Welcome to a Connected Getaway”
  • “Perfectly Situated”

To bring the master-planned community to life, Milesbrand implemented cohesive new branding throughout the community on wayfinding signage and sales and marketing displays within the sales office, as well as additional branding collateral offered to potential leads. Through both digital and traditional marketing tactics, Milesbrand implemented an effective strategy to expand the reach of the master-planned community. For traditional advertising, Milesbrand utilized several traditional platforms including print and radio promotions. Digital promotion methods for Solstice consisted of various tactics including:

  • Website Creation and Maintenance
  • Search Engine Marketing
  • Digital Display Banner Ads
  • Email Marketing
  • Mobile Ads
  • Video Ads
  • Real Estate Information Portals

Results

Through compelling location-inspired branding, Solstice experienced incredible traction with homebuyers during their pre-sale launch! The pre-sale launch strategy for the Solstice community produced more traffic than any other Shea Homes community in the country. Within the first two months of the community’s opening, it secured a total of 46 sales. The master-planned community also experienced high levels of interest among prospective homebuyers that created a deep backlog of potential buyers on their priority list.

Solstice continues to sell the majority of its home site releases to buyers on their priority list. This master-planned community currently offers five home collections and due to their fast sales pace, there is no available inventory. As of now, Solstice continues to have more buyers on its priority list than there are available homesites.

Set Your Master-Planned Community Apart With Exceptional Branding and Vision

Differentiating a master-planned community from its impressive competition is challenging but is possible to do so with extraordinary branding that conveys the community’s distinct vision and location-specific amenities. Every community has key advantages that make it special – they simply have to be discovered and expressed through a compelling brand vision!

Partner with Milesbrand to explore your master-planned community’s key differentiation and communicate that to homebuyers with award-winning creative design and exceptional master-planned community branding. Contact our team to learn more about our branding process and services.

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