Lumière Property is a new property development company with an exciting proposition. Positioned as an alternative to estate agents and developers, Lumière Property uses powerful proprietary software to identify existing properties to convert into sites for further residential development. It negotiates the option to buy and ‘unlocks’ the properties by securing planning permission before making a deal with a developer or, in some cases, developing the property itself. Lumière Property commissioned ifour to refine its proposition and brand positioning, develop marketing collateral, design its website and provide ongoing marketing support. Our key challenge was to develop an identity and communications that cut through the noise and rose above the reputation for sharp practice sometimes associated with the property development sector.
The fundamentals of the Lumière Property business model rely on understanding the consumer mindset when selling property. For Lumière Property profitability depends on using this insight to quickly identify and foster a trusting relationship with a small subset of homeowners. We took a holistic view of the brand’s needs and worked with the senior team to consider how to streamline the initial direct marketing approach. Our workshop process identified and refined the key messages to Lumière Property’s target audiences: homeowner vendors; planners in local authorities; developers and wider neighbourhood groups and communities.
For the most important target audience, vendors, we developed messaging that focused on the power and accuracy of Lumière Property’s proprietary technology, which guarantees above market-rate returns and the company’s business model, which provides total support. The themes of ‘stressless and cost-free home sales’ were delivered through all the content that was generated. Building on the Lumière team’s formidable customer service operation, ifour developed an identity that emphasised trust and reassurance, took pains to show transparency and explain the unconventional but simple business model.
We took the insight and understanding from the strategic phase and created a gentle but compelling brand identity. Using sumptuous, rich colours, the branding conveys confidence, reassurance and stability. It is completely consumer-focused as their B2B partners’ judgements and due diligence focus on the viability and appeal of the brand to consumers. We moved away from the current overuse of humorous lifestyle photography by prop tech, which we felt had started to become inauthentic. Instead, we focused on explaining the business model and opted for simple and elegant step-by-step illustrations through all marketing communications. Direct marketing was revamped to elevate the Lumière Property message above the ‘junk status’ of much of the direct mail consumers receive and to provide memorable physical evidence to targets, opening the door to more effective follow-up contact.
Our re-branding of Lumière Property has helped to make the company a real challenger brand, specifically in South London, Surrey and more generally in the South East. Following an uplift in engagement and conversion with its initial focus on developing residential corner plots, the approach of creating unique, collectable direct mail continues to be replicated in new Lumière Property products and serves as the starting point for campaigns.