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  • Writer's pictureDO&Be Agency

Crafting a Strong Foundation: Your Home Builder Brand Experience Strategy

Here’s a question for the new home sales and marketing professionals out there: have you found yourself putting in more effort, allocating increased resources, or perhaps both—only to witness diminishing returns compared to a few years ago?

The shifting market dynamics have not gone unnoticed, especially by those deeply entrenched in the home building industry. We've weathered market declines before, but this time, it's different—a change in human expectations is steering the ship.

As we engage in discussions about evolving customer expectations, it becomes apparent that the need for adaptation goes beyond customer-centric strategies. To truly achieve and surpass profitability goals, a paradigm shift is required—one that starts with redefining and reimagining our organizational culture.

Tony Hsieh culture right quote showing cardboard people holding hands

The importance of getting the culture right cannot be overstated. However, in our industry, the perception of culture remains a challenge.

Culture Redefined: Beyond the Traditional Norms

Often considered a nebulous term, culture is a pivotal force shaping organizations' future. If we envision culture as the sum of everything we do, then it becomes inseparable from the broader concept of brand experience. However, cultural efforts are frequently confined to HR departments and sporadic leadership speeches; relying solely on these aspects won't ensure consistent profit margins.

Enter Brand Experience (abbreviated as BX), a purpose-driven strategy that not only shapes interactions with your brand but also propels meaningful results. Did you know that your company culture can actively contribute to profit?

We like to visualize your company as a burger; every effort will add up to something delicious and profitable, from the bottom bun to the toothpick. To successfully accomplish your goals, home builders must develop one cohesive strategy that spreads from marketing to warranty and everything in between.

There’s a lot to unpack there—but we are here to walk you through it, starting with the Visionary Plan.

>> Please use the menu below to jump ahead to our list of the seven must-have elements of an impactful BX strategy or one of the topics that interest you most.

Setting the Foundation: The Visionary Plan

Launching a successful Brand Experience (BX) strategy demands more than a simple outline—it requires a detailed visionary blueprint that expands beyond the current pipeline. Whether through BHAGs or 5-Year Plans, forward-thinking is likely part of your approach, but we encourage you to consider your BX strategy as the rebar in your foundation that makes it stronger.

BX Strategy quote showing a new construction foundation with rebar

Think about your company mission statement, core values, and brand promise—when was the last time you revisited them? Growth and market changes may necessitate adaptations to ensure your proclaimed identity aligns with what you're building—and for whom.

It may come as no surprise that when you are building your strategic plan, we recommend bringing in marketing leaders to tap into the data, customer personas, and industry trends to provide key insights that will keep you on track for success. It is crucial to align brand values and customer personas in strategic planning to avoid increasing the cost per lead.

The Shared Vision: Breaking Departmental Silos

It's clear that cross-departmental alignment is essential to your success. Did you know that highly collaborative teams tend to have 41% higher satisfaction rates in customer experience surveys, 34% fewer mistakes, and 27% higher sales volumes than those that don't collaborate effectively?

Collaboration can often sound like more meetings, and the thought of one more meeting can be overwhelming. If you implement your cross-departmental strategies correctly, you should be able to have fewer meetings and achieve positive results.

Aside from clarity on the company vision, other things that can help break down silos include regular town hall meetings, an internal communication hub, and transparent KPIs to follow for all departments (not just sales, starts, and closings). Tracking goals across the company can also help improve camaraderie as everyone is rooting for each other and has a more concise understanding of their colleagues' work.

Tracking goals does more than improve the employee experience and enrich a high-performing culture.

"By implementing a robust and sustainable tracking system and aligning your team with clear goals, you amplify your results and empower yourself to anticipate and shape the future." —Kimberly Mackey, New Home Solutions

Ensuring alignment across departments is paramount. Countless stories abound where different departments—despite collective efforts—run in different directions, yielding less-than-desired impacts. The challenge lies in adapting to industry trends and fostering a brand identity that resonates with the company's goals and its customers.

Authenticity Matters: Builder Marketing and Brand Identity Audit Checklist

An authentic brand identity demonstrates your mission and values in all things and, as a result, creates trust. Studies show that 81% of consumers must trust a brand before they buy from it, and 55% of brand first impressions are visual.

consumer trust quote from edelman over customers researching a brand online

A brand audit is not just a formality but a strategic imperative. It serves to:

  1. Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to your business.

  2. Understand customer perceptions, both positive and negative.

  3. Align your offerings with customer expectations.

  4. Evaluate your standing next to the competition.

  5. Redefine your brand strategy for greater relevance.

But how do you do it? A brand audit will yield different results for every business that embarks on the journey and will involve evaluating a whole host of information. This is a team job—one that requires a look into all of the following areas:

  • Examine website analytics.

  • Analyze sales statistics.

  • Review social data.

  • Run a detailed competitor analysis.

  • Spot-check automated email messaging.

  • Scrutinize customer survey data.

Need help? DO&Be Agency is happy to provide a brand experience checklist—or work with your company directly to dig deeper.

Cultivating a Profitable Culture: It’s Way More Than Pizza Parties

Sometimes, the term 'culture' can evoke skepticism, with leaders hesitant to resort to another pizza party in challenging times. Yet, internal culture holds the key to a happier and more productive workforce. A happy employee translates to a 15% increase in productivity—37% for those in sales—ultimately boosting the bottom line.

While some team members will always be attracted to the allure of parties and swag, the majority seeks meaning in their work. Clear communication, well-defined processes, tracking, discussing, celebrating results, and offering a path for professional development contribute to a thriving culture. Leadership's role is not confined to parties but entails embodying stated values.

Trusting and empowering your team is a great way to demonstrate your values from the top down. During a conversation with Erin J. Wriston from Kingston Homes, the importance of trust in your team became clear. Trusting your team does not mean ignoring problems but providing them with education, practical tools, and efficient processes to empower them.

Did you know that 89% of growth leaders see a direct correlation between employee satisfaction and happy customers?

BX Strategy: Placing the Customer at the Core

Placing the customer at the center is non-negotiable for a transformative BX strategy. While a welcome-home gift is a facet of customer experience, the depth of it goes far beyond such gestures.

Regularly reviewing customer personas—ideally annually or with each new product type or community—ensures an ongoing commitment to customer-centricity. Armed with this clarity, every product development decision can be tailored to align with the desires and requirements of your core customers. This consideration extends to refining processes, where, for instance, the sales approach for a senior living community may differ significantly from that for a starter home targeting Millennials and Gen Z buyers.

In an age where customers seek unprecedented transparency, creating tools and processes that instill trust is imperative. This involves developing educational resources such as blog posts and guides, segmented email marketing tailored to individual needs, and hosting events that engage and inform.

The essence of a great customer experience lies in effective communication. Consistency, timeliness, and relevance are paramount throughout the entire build process, from initial marketing messaging and the Online Sales Counselor (OSC) process all the way through the final walk-through and beyond.

It's essential to recognize that customer satisfaction is a shared responsibility that extends beyond sales and marketing. Every team member, every day, contributes to maintaining and enhancing the overall customer experience. This collective commitment ensures that the customer remains at the heart of every interaction, driving satisfaction and loyalty.

Elevate Builder Brand Experience Through A Reputation For Innovation and Quality

In homebuilding, the commitment to intentional innovation is not just a buzzword—it's a necessity. While innovation is often associated with groundbreaking technologies, it encompasses much more, extending to optimizing processes and enhancing overall experiences for the team and customers. It's about dedicating a team to consistently lift their gaze from the daily grind and seek improvement.

Whether it's staying ahead of industry trends, anticipating code changes, or reimagining construction methodologies, intentional innovation requires reflection on internal and external surveys, customer journey maps, and personas. This deliberate approach not only future-proofs your operations but also ensures a dynamic, forward-thinking strategy that resonates with your team and clientele.

The recommendation of delivering quality every time might seem insulting when it comes from an external source. Nobody starts a new home construction project to create a poorly built home. So, what does it mean to deliver quality when you have a great team, top-notch products, and highly efficient processes in place? 

Construction is an art form, not a mass production assembly line, meaning things will (at some point) go wrong. Knowing this, the most crucial part of delivering quality may lie in your processes for quality control and how you respond when something goes wrong. 

If you deliver quality consistently, you have processes that provide insights you can use in your marketing. It would help if you thought about how you could highlight that. The word "quality" can feel overused in marketing materials, but if you have an X% satisfaction rating and your homes are delivered X% of the time, that's something meaningful to the customer.

Seven Must-Haves for a Results-Driven Brand Experience from DO&Be Agency

brand essentials guide book download link

This is a framework—a blueprint—for not just surviving but thriving in a dynamically evolving market. You likely have many of the right pieces in place; now, it's about weaving them together into a tapestry that ensures your brand stands resilient amid market fluctuations.

1. Strategic Planning:

  • Set and communicate goals.

  • Align departmental goals with company-wide objectives.

  • Identify and track key success metrics.

2. Authentic Brand Identity:

  • Establish and verify mission, values, and brand promise.

  • Ensure consistency across all buyer touchpoints.

  • Develop branding guidelines to ensure a consistent look and feel.

3. Empowered Teams:

  • Cultivate a customer-centric culture.

  • Empower teams with education and tools.

  • Provide elite training opportunities.

4. Cross-Departmental Alignment:

  • Create a central hub for updates.

  • Foster transparency in goals and results.

  • Share marketing messaging with all team members.

5. Customer-First Mentality:

  • Redefine core customers.

  • Provide transparent processes and communication.

  • Develop educational content for success.

6. Commit to Innovation:

  • Collect and evaluate regular feedback.

  • Consistent journey mapping for a refined experience.

  • Optimize your website for user experience.

7. Build a Reputation for Quality:

  • Deliver quality and value consistently.

  • Act quickly and communicate in times of issues.

  • Engage with customer reviews and feedback.

Beyond Marketing: DO&Be Agency—Your Partner in Brand Evolution

At DO&Be Agency, we're more than a marketing agency. We partner with builders to create marketing and brand experience strategies that engage your customers and ignite change. Our core principles include strategic planning, journey mapping, employer branding, and executive consulting. We don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. We guide you to develop a comprehensive BX strategy that exceeds expectations and makes your brand resilient. Let's redefine what's possible for your home building company.


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