In a Former Life

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A bucketful of consultants, lots of floor sweepers employed by their fathers, real estate agents, accountants, lawyers, even a dentist — every home builder or building exec got his or her start somewhere.

April 01, 2001

A bucketful of consultants, lots of floor sweepers employed by their fathers, real estate agents, accountants, lawyers, even a dentist — every home builder or building exec got his or her start somewhere.

As far-fetched as it may sound, Jim Doyle’s former life — 12 years in promotions for big-time sports and entertainment events — was a perfect lead-in to his job today. Now vice president of marketing for the award-winning, master-planned Lakewood Ranch in Sarasota, Fla., Doyle applies what he calls “rock 'n' roll” marketing techniques to home building.

“It’s the idea of creating value for a brand ... then leveraging that with aggressive strategies that say ‘we’re the only game in town,’” says Doyle.

 

The best moments were when Doyle hung out with interesting — and famous — people. “I picked Bob Hope up at the airport and spent the better part of 24 hours with him. He even autographed my wife’s bra.”

Celebrities and underthings aside, the hassle of dealing with industry execs and a bevy of inflated egos got old, and Doyle set out for the relative calm of home building.

“Like seats to see the Yankees play or your first date at a Neil Diamond concert, it’s an emotional experience. We play on the emotion around that brand — because at the end of the day, it’s just another retail product with all the same mechanisms,” says Doyle.

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