With the start of 2018 comes a fresh mix of opportunities with some of our client partners. And when you love place branding like we do, there’s no better way to burn off those holiday calories.
Smith & Associates Real Estate
Smith & Associates engaged Walker to lead analysis of their buyer and seller data, update their narrative and assist with new best-in-market agent messaging. So beyond their stellar inventory, they are now armed with a greater and more focused story to tell.
IMS Health Network
Frustrated with the state of healthcare for seniors, IMS Health Network set out to change it for the better. This involved reinventing their patient care model, redefining their physical space and relaunching as an entirely new brand. Walker was retained for and continues to lead these efforts as Reliance Medical Centers makes its mark in Polk County and beyond.
As one of the fastest growing and most successful master planned developments in the nation, Horizon West is one village community away from completion. To ensure this community saves the best for last, Columnar enlisted Walker to create and roll out a brand that attracts builders to this premier opportunity.
Torti Gallas + Partners
With a degree of scale and quality that currently does not exist in Downtown Lakeland, FL, Framework Group and Torti Gallas + Partners are creating an unrivaled housing and lifestyle option and have turned to Walker’s expertise. We are currently developing a community name, identity and brand story that’s relevant to both stakeholders and city residents. The goal is simple: reflect the distinctness of the project that will soon turn heads in central Florida.
To connect people with your place, simply connect with us at 813.875.3322.
What if they don’t come when you build it? Or at least not as many as you’d like?
This was the case with Patrick Square, a mixed-use, traditional neighborhood in Clemson, SC developed by JMC Communities. On 173 acres near Clemson University, Patrick Square is a great fit for Clemson. But in 2015, sales were softer than anticipated due in part to the area’s small population and inadequate local demand. In response, JMC hired Walker Brands to evaluate Patrick Square’s brand strategy and help boost traffic and engagement. Research yielded three key opportunities:
Increasing visibility with out-of-market alumni considering retiring in Clemson
Reaching prospective buyers earlier to increase lead conversion
Explaining why Patrick Square’s lifestyle is perfect for anyone with ties to the University
Using these insights, Walker expanded Patrick Square’s digital footprint regionally, updated its display advertising, added social media video content, improved lead capture capabilities and designed a sales center to effectively tell the community story.
Results included a 45% increase in website traffic and hundreds of new qualified leads, which helped Patrick Square exceed its annual home sales goal by 40%.
Imagine you own one of the largest master planned communities in the Tampa area – home to four distinct neighborhoods and schools, premier healthcare and business institutions, parks, shopping, entertainment and more – and many people only know about your mall.
For the developers of Wiregrass Ranch, this perception problem was also a potential value problem. Without increasing awareness and telling the larger story of the community’s impact on the future of Pasco County, Wiregrass Ranch might not attract the optimal mix of residents and businesses, or command the premium value it deserves.
The development team recognized this and engaged Walker to help paint a far better picture – one that includes an overarching master brand and authentic story, both of which came quite naturally given the rich Wiregrass heritage.
What better way to kick off summer than launch work for a mix of new and existing clients? So while many people take trips and work on new tan lines, we’ll be developing programs to help our partners achieve greater business results. Send us a postcard, won’t you?
You might know it as the place where Bass Pro Shops, Topgolf and iFly draw the crowds. We know it as land many experts said couldn’t be developed, until Verardo Capital and Development came along. Seeking a like-minded partner who knows how to get things done, Verardo has engaged Walker Brands. The Estuary is underway with a new identity and website, as well as signage and PR, to bring existing tenants under one master brand and lease remaining space to some lucky new ones.
The Estuary, home to an unprecedented collection of marquis brands on 150 acres, 2-minutes from downtown Tampa
The 2016 NAHB Master Planned Community of the Year has enlisted Walker Brands to help make 2017 and beyond even better. The fireworks begin long before July 4th with our campaign for the Summer Home Tour, and will continue as we support Starkey Ranch as its agency of record. We look forward to building upon the well-established momentum, watching the neighborhoods and parks grow and thrive.
Starkey Ranch, more than 2,400 acres just north of Tampa where life is taking root
Pasco Hernando State College
With five campuses and an evolution of its school mascot in the works, PHSC has teamed up with Walker Brands to execute a winning game plan. It’s not often you get to create an iconic character who will inspire a fan base, so we’re quite honored. But that’s about all we can say for now, other than Spartans and Titans and Hawks beware. There’s a new player in town.
Walker Brands has been hired to collaborate with other creative partners on signage for Shoreview at Lakewood Ranch Waterside, one of the newest neighborhoods in Sarasota County. Beyond telling people which way to turn, we see it as an opportunity to convey exciting things are ahead. With a mix of homes, beautiful lakes and a bustling Town Center planned at Waterside, indeed they are.
Lakewood Ranch Waterside – Opens in June with Pulte Group homes
Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center
Existing client JBG Companies, in partnership with Willard Retail, leveraged Walker Brands to reintroduce the 520,000-square-foot Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center at this year’s ICSC RECon in Las Vegas. The Stonebridge story is about more than retail going experiential. It’s about successful anchors like Wegmans and the upcoming Alamo Drafhouse Cinema. Not to mention a pending Minor League Baseball stadium. What tenant wouldn’t to be part of a story like that?
Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center – Expands with powerhouse line up in Woodbridge, VA
For more exciting real estate development brand program results, call us at 813.875.3322.
For over 25 years, Walker Brands has been a leader in defining and bringing places to life. And now our expertise in connecting people to places is further strengthened with the addition of Rick Kourchenko to the role of Executive Creative Director — a new position established to elevate our creative leadership and bandwidth to better serve our growing portfolio of clients.
Having spent over 20 years as an art director, copywriter and associate creative director, Rick brings the perfect mix of leadership and experience in strategy, messaging and execution from multiple relevant industries.
Rick’s destination and real estate development work includes an impressive portfolio for clients including Reston Town Center, The Ritz Carlton Hotels and Resorts, Experience Kissimmee, The Mississippi Gulf Coast and Mauna Lani Resort, Hawaii.
Beyond places, he has worked on well-known brands like Sealy Posturepedic, Beringer Vineyards, TJ Maxx, Audi of America, the Atlanta Hawks, Wachovia, Zatarain’s and Moffitt Cancer Center at agencies including Fitzergald & Company, Mullen, Goldberg Moser O’Neill and BBDO. Along the way, he has received creative recognition in Lürzer’s Archive, Communication Arts, The One Show, Graphis, Creativity and numerous ADDY shows.
Originally from Mexico City, Rick grew up on the beach in Florida and considers himself a flip-flop wearing native. He holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Florida, and has collaborated with some of the best in the business throughout his career. Outside of Walker, he enjoys running, cooking, and sipping strong coffee wherever it’s quiet.
As much as the business landscape has changed, Rick believes one thing hasn’t. Start with a smart strategy, keep the audience in mind, push the work and make sure the idea can live anywhere.
We look forward to introducing you to Rick and his contribution to our clients’ success.
Rick’s Favorite Place: Sanibel Island
As the only barrier island running east to west along Florida’s gulf coast, Sanibel is a tropical refuge attracting people from around the world. Stay at a luxury resort along the sand. Or better yet, load up on groceries at Bailey’s General Store and move into your own private beach cottage. From exploring the Tarpon Bay mangroves on a kayak, to biking around town, to local cuisine and world-renowned shelling, there’s an endless list of memories to be made – which of course includes what might be the best sunsets on the planet.
“In the end, it’s all about creative thinking that solves business problems and increases our clients’ competitive advantage. Rick’s impressive experience and strategic mind will be a wonderful addition to our team.” – Nancy Walker
If you’re ready for impactful creative based on smart strategy, give us a call at 813.875.3322
Walker Brands, Tampa’s award-winning destination and corporate branding firm, is pleased to partner with a mix of new clients to launch original brand programs and initiatives in 2017. They include:
Austin, Texas-based ARG Bull Creek has selected Walker to help realize its vision for The Grove at Shoal Creek, a 75-acre mixed-use community that will include homes, a town center and generous park space that will create a legacy project in the heart of Austin. Walker is developing the overarching brand strategy and supportive marketing communications materials and place making for the project
One of the largest regional developments on Florida’s West Coast, Wiregrass Ranch, has engaged Walker to create a comprehensive and distinctive brand program for the 5,000-acre master planned community in Wesley Chapel. Developed by Locust Branch, LLC which is owned by The Porter ranching family, Wiregrass Ranch currently encompasses a regional shopping mall and other big-box retail, a hospital, state college, a variety of residential developments and commercial office space, with more underway. Walker’s branding initiative will unite all these uses under one umbrella with one central message and create the supportive brand communications materials necessary as the community continues to take shape.
Tampa’s premier café deli and catering company since 1963, Wright’s Gourmet House has retained Walker to create a signage and environmental graphics plan for its new, expanded space in order to enhance the customer experience. Wright’s has previously partnered with Walker on a number of projects over the last 20 years.
Additionally, Walker Brands work on behalf of two client brand programs recently took home top awards from the Tampa Bay Builder’s Association (TBBA), the Florida Home Builders Association (FHBA) and the United States Sign Council.
Grand Central at Kennedy, an urban, mixed-use condominium community in Tampa’s Channelside district developed by Mercury Advisors, was recognized with Excel Awards for “Best Overall Marketing Campaign” by both the FHBA Sales & Marketing Council and the TBBA Sales & Marketing Council. Walker developed a refreshed sales campaign for the community to drive sell-out of the final 50 residential units. Less than 10 percent currently remain.
The United States Sign Council awarded Storey Communities, a master-planned legacy community by Lennar Homes in Kissimmee, Fla., with “First Place in Sign Systems.” Walker developed the design concepts for the project in partnership with Creative Sign Designs, which fabricated and installed the signage.
“At Walker, we believe all brand programs should be compelling and distinctive to break through the clutter today.” said Nancy Walker, president of Walker Brands. “We are privileged to work with our clients to strategically evolve and plan their most powerful business asset: their brand.”
Walker Brands is proud to announce four distinct awards for client brand programs:
An Urban Lifestyle Central to Life
To achieve sell-out of the 50 remaining condominium units at Grand Central at Kennedy, Walker commissioned a resident survey to understand what made the project distinctive and appealing. The campaign, “Central to Life,” and a refreshed brand were developed through the eyes of the ground floor retailers who call the urban community home, has produced 28 sales to date.
Florida Home Builders Association Excel Awards – Best Overall Marketing Campaign
Reinforcing A Personal Approach
As part of a rebranding effort, a print campaign for The Founders Club, was created to evolve the golf club community’s message, and look and feel, to more effectively convey the community’s brand distinction. The campaign profiled a series of residents and how both the community and their custom built luxury home fit their distinctive taste and lifestyle which received e significant boost in word-of-mouth advertising, the primary driver of highly qualified leads.
Florida Home Builders Association Excel Awards – Best Magazine Ad
Evolving A C-Store Experience
The Radiant Group retained Walker to develop a new brand for their convenience stores. The design represents Radiant’s community roots in the Tampa Bay area. Environmental graphics express the history of Radiant, each store’s neighborhood and community philanthropy. The new look provides an escape from yesterday’s convenience store experience, and has helped exceed revenue goals.
Convenience Store News Award – Best Interior Design
Vertical Farming Grows a Brand
Uriah’s Urban Farm engaged Walker to evolve the brand to better reflect the company’s revolutionary method of growing food and its distribution directly to restaurants for display and use. The brand positioning and identity was updated to reflect the brand distinction, followed by packaging, point-of-sale and a vibrant website to further grow the brand.
Graphic Design USA: American Graphic Design Award – Branding and Identity Program
UNTIL NEXT TIME, CHEW ON THIS:
The marketplace is constantly changing including the affects of an evolving competitive landscape, economic conditions, and communication advances in the way consumers want to receive information. If your results need a lift, a brand audit can reveal the best way to strengthen your marketing program.
Call us at 813.875.3322 for a quicker path to sales success and some industry recognition too.
“Receiving great customer service triggers the same cerebral reactions as feeling loved.” – Trendwatching.com
When Lennar Homes wanted to elevate its customer service to a whole new level in its Tampa and Central Florida regions, Walker developed a distinctive brand program that would help build loyalty and love for the Lennar brand. Designed to help Lennar stand apart from competitor brands, the program encompassed the way Lennar engaged with its customers before, during and long after the sale.
Walker named the program, Neighborhood Knowology. Knowology conveys the realm of knowledge with a fresh, fun twist. Each community has a dedicated “Knowologist” – a concierge-type team member that serves as the on-site, Lennar customer service representative. Knowlogists help homeowners know how to care for their new Lennar homes as well as get to know each other and what’s going on in their community and surrounding neighborhood.
To support the program, Walker developed the identity, collateral, Welcome Home Center graphics, vehicle identification, a program orientation tool and idea starters to prepare Knowologists for the program launch.
Did it work?
Here’s what we know: Before the Knowology program launch, Lennar’s Central Florida Division was ranked 24 out of 30 divisions nationally for customer care. Since the program launch, they’ve ranked #1 and #2 nationally. Also, the customer care scores for Orlando increased from the 70’s to the 90’s in just 2 months after the program launch. Being in the know definitely has its benefits!
Until Next Time, Chew On This:
Every business has an opportunity to increase its competitive advantage by branding a service offering to extend its value. Where’s the white space you should be claiming? Call us at 813.875.3322 for a Brand Audit to uncover the potential.
When launching a brand, do you know who your most important customers are? Many companies look externally to those who buy their products or services. But success is often determined by a company’s internal customers: their employees.
Without employee understanding and buy-in, any brand strategy is in jeopardy. It needs to both resonate with them and be a reflection of company values and culture. Otherwise, the strategy is at risk of not being embraced or being perceived as inauthentic.
That’s why strong brands are built from the inside out.
A great example is our client Preferred Materials, one of the Southeast’s leading concrete and asphalt suppliers.
Walker partnered with Preferred to create a strategy to differentiate it as a premium supplier in a highly competitive and commoditized industry. Our efforts uncovered the sweet spot of their distinction: a pervasive “whatever it takes” attitude towards meeting customer needs that’s unique within the industry and valued by customers.
Walker designed Preferred’s strategy to communicate their distinction using the success stories of its employees. Doing this required two things – employee buy-in and a steady stream of content to share internally and externally. Preferred needed a way to make storytelling inclusive of their employees, a routine part of their operations, and something that is celebrated within the company’s culture.
So we created an employee recognition program to systematically collect nominations, recognize employees and share their stories of excellent service. We then officially launched the brand starting with a series of high-energy internal events hosted by senior leadership.
Employee response was fantastic – they were excited about the new brand and appreciative of the recognition. Most importantly, they understand what their brand stands for and are proud to deliver it every day.
And that makes a rock solid foundation for building a brand.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Branding isn’t about a sticker or a tagline. Your brand is your company’s most important business asset and it affects all parts of your organization and all audiences, internal and external. So before you get going with a new branding campaign, make sure you build it from the inside out. Call us at 813.875.3322 to get everyone in your organization believing in your brand promise.