Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
There are two ways to achieve brand recognition, says Pulte Homes vice president/marketing Jim Lesinski. The fast — and expensive — option is to buy a brand. Throw lots of money at lots of different media and buy consumer awareness.
There are two ways to achieve brand recognition, says Pulte Homes vice president/marketing Jim Lesinski. The fast - and expensive - option is to buy a brand. Throw lots of money at lots of different media and buy consumer awareness.
The alternative - building a brand - ultimately might be just as costly, but the result is a market position that reflects a companyÆs culture and builds on those aspects of its operation that support long-term market differentiation.
"I absolutely believe strong brand position has to grow from within," Lesinski says, "because long term, the winners in this business will be those companies that differentiate themselves on process rather than on product."
At the heart of Pulte HomesÆ national branding effort "Homeowner for Life" are its three IÆs on quality - involvement, integrity and innovation. Pulte defines each as follows:
Involvement: Do everything possible to make sure clients are involved in the process of building their new homes. Treat everyone like a partner. Communicate openly and consistently. Listen. Share. Seek to make this an enjoyable experience for all.
Integrity: We believe in keeping commitments and avoiding surprises. We carry ourselves with humility, honesty and respect. We want clients to view Pulte Homes as their trusted business partner.
Innovation: Always think of ways to improve our business and ourselves. Never stand still. Provide all the benefits of the latest advancements to our clients. This is shown in building processes, designs, technologies and in the way we treat our clients. WeÆre intent on making peopleÆs lives better.
"Our notion of branding is based on our belief that there is value in the relationship with the customer beyond the transaction of passing the deed and collecting the money," says Mark OÆBrien, PulteÆs president and chief operating officer. "At the core of that relationship must be an insatiable appetite, a continual drive, to deliver quality to the customer. Without that, all the rest of it is going to crumble."
To deliver on the three IÆs and realize the value of existing buyer relationships, Pulte is working on several internal and external initiatives. Internal projects include:
External efforts include:
"We know that 35% of our customers are repeat or referral," OÆBrien explains. "In a $7 billion company like ours, that means $2 billion of our sales are without customer acquisition costs. Quality is the foundation that makes this possible, and brand development is the tool to grow it."
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