Affection as Commodity: Staging with a Feel Estate Agent

In the Internet era, people’s attention – or more precisely, your audience’s attention – is the hottest commodity. This is why effective, sustained branding is so important. After all, what is branding if not the process of attracting and holding your audience’s attention?

When it comes to branding, winners are separated from losers by succeeding on two fronts: 1) determining where to best attract and hold an audience’s attention (namely, choosing the right medium), and 2) determining what messaging and imagery to use in order to connect emotionally with that audience. The word emotionally is both italicized and bolded for emphasis because it is the key to successful branding. We’ve gone here before on this blog, but the point is well worth repeating. Hitting your target in the feels is imperative. It is the prime mover in the sales funnel. Conveying the right information might get you a date, but eliciting the right feelings… that’ll get you a honeymoon!

So, keeping in mind that the most sought after commodity of our time is an audience’s attention – let’s refine that: an audience’s affection, Ripple Effects consistently emphasizes building the right brand to begin with; choosing the right vehicles (media) to get that brand in front of its audience; and finally, ensuring the words and images elicit the right feelings from that audience. Herein resides the art of marketing. The science of marketing sits squarely in quantifying and reporting the performance of your efforts. The performance itself is the art of making your people feel good about you and what you offer.

Artists like metaphors. Let’s use one.

If the commodity is affection, then let’s be feel estate agents.

Start with a bungalow. This is the foundation of your brand. It’s charming but also practical. It’s a statement that communicates why you are different and the promises you keep. Instantly it communicates why this bungalow is the one your audience can’t resist and would be fools to pass up.

But it’s only a start. As a feel estate agent, you want your bungalow to grow in its appeal. You want it to be both more enjoyable to the people who already live there, and you want the neighbourhood to love it too. So, when the day comes that someone says, “hey, how ‘bout a patio? This yard was built for parties!”, you can’t help but say, “great idea, let’s do it!”

But there is lots to think about.

If I build it, will they come? How much should I spend? What colour and style of patio stones do I use? What do I plant? How about a fountain? A hot tub? Outdoor video/audio?Of course, all these important considerations will vary based on items such as budget, objectives, audience demographics, etc.: all the things a successful feel estate agent like Ripple Effects will take into account. But above all else, the agent will remain focused on two things.

Retaining the audience you have while, ideally, deepening their love for the brand (so they will not only buy again, but also tell their friends about it); and bringing new friends into the fold.

To make a long story short (hypothetical residents of our bungalow being the same likeable sorts of people) the one with the patio makes it easier to have parties and make more friends than the one without a patio. To put this in other words, the bungalow with a patio has more equity than does the bungalow without. Maybe that goes without saying but there is a key point that remains to be made.

The patio needs to fit the house. And the house needs to be maintained in order for equity to grow.

If the house falls into disrepair (the roof starts leaking) to pay for the patio, then equity growth is undermined.

Likewise, bad design considerations – an outdoor stereo setup worthy of a KISS concert in a retirement neighbourhood, or say, a theme-park-level water slide setup on a quaint wooded street full of heritage century homes, well, those undermine equity too.

This is why you hear so often that consistency in a brand, as in a friend, or as in a bungalow is the key to good branding. Because consistency implies reliability it is the key to building equity.

And it really all boils down to this.

Anyone who truly values their precious downtime knows, especially when there is a party on every street, the sure-thing good-time is always a better way to go than the shot-in-the-dark.