How to Attract the Right Buyer in the Most Expensive Neighborhood

Any brand can increase traffic.

The true challenge is attracting the right public.

“Ours is not a volume-based business, it is a quality-based business” states Lisa Cullen of Montecito Landscape.

After all, Montecito is amongst the top ten most expensive zip codes in America with a median home value north of $3 million.

Lisa shares, “We deal with high-end customers and high-end properties. So the trick is, how to attract that customer and not clog our lines with customers who will not buy and/or can’t afford what we do.”

Not All Traffic is Created Equal

In business, it’s vital to differentiate between quality and quantity.

Simply when looking to increase traffic, it’s vital to know there are differences in traffic quality: like saying any low-calorie diet is like any other low-calorie diet. For example, 1,200 calories of Snickers bars will not yield the same result as a well balanced 1,200 calories of veggies, protein and fresh ingredients.

So when Lisa and her husband Chris reached out for help with their 40-plus year old brand, their question was what they could improve in order to attract a better caliber of prospects to their landscaping business.

They’d seen the market shift from single homeowners to those who live here either part-time, some even having this as a fourth or fifth home. “We were aware we didn’t know how to elevate our brand to communicate to this newer type of Montecito resident. We could run ourselves ragged doing free consultations and get nowhere. Having been in business for 45 years, we’d personally witnessed the change in Montecito’s residents, so we knew we needed a facelift.”

Speaking the Language of Your Customer

Ad legend David Ogilvy wrote, “If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

That’s what drove the visual makeover, the rebrand, of Montecito Landscape. We developed an aesthetic that looked like an old postcard of Montecito, so it didn’t look overly polished, but more like a well worn sweater or a classic book found in a vintage antique shop, reflecting something that lived here.

It started with various discussions to really understand the Montecito culture and community.

Without Isolating the Actual Problem, Finding the Effective Solution is Impossible

Looking at the existing brand, it failed to convey the desired value.

The brand looked outdated and was out of sync with the caliber of their service and the quality of the clientele.

While some previous pieces would increase traffic, it wasn’t always the right and desirable prospective client.

So the problem was having a brand identity that failed to properly reflect the most proven landscapers and established ambassadors of Montecito’s natural legacy, a quality that would be very key when asking homeowners to invest into one of their most valued assets. (To see more rebrands, see the list at the conclusion of this article.)

Part of the rebrand was creating custom-cut cards in an oval shape using letterpress techniques on stunning thick cotton stock. And creating several card fronts, to show different parts of Montecito.

The thick cards were also double-sided with the business information on one-side and Montecito on the other side:

And since Montecito has so many stunning landscapes, one front of the card couldn’t do it. So we ended up designing three fronts:

The new slogan “Preserving our local beauty for as long as we can remember” echoes the local pride while conveying the company’s longevity, whimsy, reputation for excellence and the city’s natural heritage.

As Lisa states, “The first thing we noticed is that this card pulls more of the type of client we are shooting for. And, every time we send it, it pulls.”

Once this pivotal piece of the brand was solved, it was a matter of applying all that in the logo, the core of the brand, to their promotional pieces, wearables, print advertisements, newsletters, website, email signature and invoicing.

Lisa continued, “Again, we are not looking for volume, but a specific public. And, we are trying to weed out the public we don’t want. This campaign not only shows what we do but that we are the ones who know how to help the customer get what they want, transforming their garden into a stunning beautiful oasis: their very own private retreat from the world.”

Another key tool was their newsletter which went from being called Garden Gossip to Garden Secrets and applied to numerous applications:


Originally published at www.risingabovethenoise.com on February 24, 2016.


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Recipient of over 320 national and international design and branding recognitions and awards, David Brier is an award-winning brand identity designer, author, and branding expert. His firm’s work has won the admiration of peers and organizations but has, more importantly, helped clients jump-start their brands in new and innovative ways, even (and especially) when they’ve failed in previous brand makeovers.

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