Kensington Homes has been in Winnipeg since 1972. They have an established brand with a reputation for caring about homeowners. One of their strongest marketing assets is positive word-of-mouth—a good referral is important in any industry, but is especially so in the real estate industry where customers are often making the largest investment of their lives. And one that they literally have to live with every day.
Understanding the Challenge
Kensington wanted to give new life to its brand without completely overhauling its look and feel – and to help distinguish themselves from other builders at the brand level.
One thing that differentiates them is their building process – Kensington Homes works hard to empower its buyers and make them feel in control of the build. Through construction software, construction managers can trigger milestone updates to the homeowner via email throughout the build process. This way, customers are informed every step of the way.
Since there was already a transparent process happening that delighted customers, we helped Kensington lean into this differentiator and package or brand the building process. We conducted interviews with Kensington employees who are involved in each stage of the process, helping uncover what happens at each construction milestone, what the customer could expect and prepare for – and even naming some of the things that can cause delays. This way, the customer has a good handle of the whole build – when typically it can make buyers feel helpless and powerless.
Finding the concept
During our discovery stage, we uncovered a number of moments where Kensington went above and beyond for its customers, that they needed to tell potential customers and reinforce with their current ones to help them stand out. We gave a name to each stage of the building process, outlining the journey in a graphic, and gave a name to the whole journey: Own the Build.
What happened next?
The Own the Build tagline is descriptive, succinct and empowering to the customer. We designed icons for each stage of the build and an infographic that traced the journey from purchase to move-in. Kensington then used those icons to ramp up their social media presence in a fun and educational way and the Own the Build infographic became a part of their regular showroom marketing material.
Finally, we created a graphic standards manual which empowers Kensington’s marketers to use all of the Own the Build assets consistently (with or without us).
The Own the Build concept celebrates Kensington’s big differentiator – which they can continue to build off in the future. In new development areas, it’s not uncommon to find signs and showrooms for multiple home builders, with each one looking similar to the next. The more Kensington leans in to their difference at a builder level, the more they will stand out from the pack.
Look inwards for the differentiator. What differentiates you from the crowd may be what you least expect. Too often, a company will make internal process improvements and think that the behind the scenes work doesn’t affect the customer. It does. Lean into it, and celebrate it – especially if that work increases customer service.
Focus on delighting your existing customers. One of the best ways to find new customers is by making your existing customers really happy. Do a good job and they’re more likely to want to share their experience with others. That’s your most powerful marketing tool – and one that is conventionally most ignored.
Be visual. The messages you’re trying to convey may be complex or difficult to understand. Visual representations, such as icons and infographics, go a long way to help the audience understand the concept.