M. Kangerga & Bro.

Real Estate

Challenge:

M. Kangerga & Bro Management (MKB) is a commercial real estate investment company that focuses on self-storage opportunities. The family-owned business has been around for more than 100 years—historic, yet brandless in their industry. To strike the right note, Schaefer partnered with MKB to develop their brand identity and expand brand visibility and credibility as the company sought investment partners.

Working Forward

The purpose of the MKB rebrand was to modernize the brand tone and visual aesthetics to not just live on, but inspire confidence and empower decisions among investors and new business leads. As the company expanded relationships with third-party investors, they needed a brand identity that leveraged their heritage into an authentic look with a very updated, polished feeling. 

Goals:

  • Capture history and legacy in new brand identity
  • Create a presence online to establish credibility and appeal to new investors
  • Create new marketing materials for investor pitches 

A Nod to the Past, Present and Future

Stylistically, we wanted the new creative platform to pull through the heritage of the brand, but not feel old. We created a mark that nods to MKB’s roots, but also reflects where they are right now and where their company is heading. The primary logo has a quiet confidence, and the typeface’s nuanced letterforms illustrates the imperfections – but staying power – of carving into stone, which is a nod to the company’s impressive history.

The typography we chose is based on Jandus, which leverages strong architectural characters, friendly rounded corners and classic simplicity that can stand the test of time, just like MKB.

We selected a minimal color palette of dark charcoal and muted gold and cream, which represent the history and tradition that serve as the very foundation for MKB’s success, while also indicating their steadfastness and lasting nature. These colors work together to communicate that MKB is a trusted leader in commercial property investment and that their long history is full of decades of success.

Results

  • Cohesive brand development       
  • Logo recommendations and
  • Color palette, font solutions
  • Complementary stylistic assets
  • Brand standards
  • Web design
  • Narrative + messaging

When branding a company, it’s important to thoroughly understand the company’s principles and how they want to be known in the hearts and minds of their prospects. For MKB, we created a comprehensive brand identity that captures the history of over 100 years of successful business ventures and indicates that the brand will be around for many more fruitful years to come. 

January 20, 2021

Blazing the trail

Challenge

The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce has served the business community within the Fort Worth area since the late 1800s, playing a pivotal role in nearly every major milestone that has occurred in the city. Moving into 2020, the Chamber’s CEO of over 30 years retired, opening the door for a new, visionary leadership team to continue the Chamber’s momentum in driving forward the success and growth of Fort Worth business.

Opportunity

The emerging Chamber team developed a specific vision and strategic plan to capture and sustain growth for the City of Fort Worth, serving as both the champion for existing businesses while executing aggressive economic development efforts. Critical to the success of this plan was to reintroduce the Chamber to our business community, influencers, and new prospects in a manner that would enlighten them to the value of the city and engage them with the Chamber. To accomplish this successfully, the Chamber team partnered with Schaefer Advertising to refine the communications platform and brand identity.

Approach

Each of our brand initiatives begins with a critical analysis of an organization’s strengths, weaknesses, and differentiators. We immerse ourselves in the vision of the company, including all marketing and business objectives. With the FW Chamber, we identified the opportunity to capitalize on the legacy of the organization while creating a more defined and contemporary position that was current with today’s business climate. Through the development of a Brand Archetype, coupled with a defined brand position and targeted key messages, we created a communications platform that the Chamber can use in their marketing efforts moving forward. This platform also fully informed the creative development of a new brand identity.

A Heroic New Mark

Our exploration process revealed that the Chamber was defined as a Hero archetype, a persona defined by strength, courage, commitment, and a drive to move things forward. Taking direction from that archetype, our creative team explored a multitude of solutions for the new Chamber brand. In keeping with our process of immersion, the team explored other related and competitive organizational brands, the history of Fort Worth, and the Chamber to inspire the recommended design solutions.

The resulting mark is simple, bold, and includes a star as a subtle nod to a boot spur and a connection to the prior iteration of their logo. The new identity evolves their brand to better represent the community it serves and the institutions it champions.

When we took ownership of Lilyana marketing, the community needed a brand that better connected homebuyers to the true joys of living in this community.

Honing in on Key Differentiators

This community is far from cookie-cutter, so it only made sense to highlight the factors that make it stand out in a cluttered and crowded market. For Lilyana, it’s the conveniences and lifestyle that make it a truly special place to call home. With more than 50-acres of green space, the community is packed with natural amenities, numerous parks and things for homeowners to do outdoors. All of which keep the community and people connected. 

A Refocused Brand Position

Lilyana is located in Celina, a peaceful, up-and-coming town remote enough to harbor tranquility and close enough to Frisco to take advantage of its entertainment, energy and everything it has to offer. When we began to evolve the brand position, we pulled the thread of accessible tranquility to show prospective homebuyers that it is possible to have it all when you live at Lilyana. 

Communicating Joy and Tranquility 

We needed a way to portray the very real, and often intangible, qualities that make this community so special. By incorporating bubbles as a visual element, we were able to communicate the true value of a Hillwood community—connection, comfort and an ethos rooted in community. All while positioning Lilyana as a place to pause and enjoy the moment.

In addition to visually refreshing the brand, we also revitalized the brand language to communicate joy in the Lilyana lifestyle. “A place to embrace life’s moments” communicates that Lilyana is a community for people to slow down and enjoy their lives – right here, right now.

Building a comprehensive brand story gives real estate brands more space to have meaningful conversations with home buyers. Developing Lilyana’s position in a cluttered and competitive space helped the brand stand out, and ultimately led to more home sales.

Let’s start by getting to know you a little better. Tell us about yourself.

I was born and raised in Fort Worth, and the only time I’ve left here for an extended period of time was when I went to Austin for school for four years. I’ve always loved living here, and I really enjoyed visiting Fort Worth when I was in school because it seems like every few months Fort Worth is growing and changing. 

I have one sibling, a younger brother, and he goes to UT as well – we come from a big Longhorn family. Both of my parents went to UT, some of my grandparents, tons of my cousins, aunts and uncles went there, too.

I love Texas sports – I grew up playing softball and field hockey, which I played from seventh grade into high school. My current dog is named Dak – after Dak Prescott – and my last dog’s name was Romo – after the other Cowboys’ quarterback.

What’s something you love to do?

I love to travel, but it’s obviously been a tough year for the travel industry. My goal pre-covid was to visit a new place every single year. I’ve been to a chunk of cool places out of the country, but I’d like to explore more US cities. 

What’s your favorite place?

I really like the beach, but I don’t love the ocean. I like the sand, and I don’t mind boats, but I’d rather enjoy the ocean from a comfortable distance. I also really like the mountains – I love Colorado for how diverse it is; a lot of hiking, biking and skiing in Colorado.

 What do you love about the job?

I just love the spontaneity and the constant changes that advertising has. There’s always new projects and the space is constantly evolving. I don’t think we’ll ever reach a stage where advertising is mundane or boring.

If you could do anything besides what you are doing now, what would you do professionally?

I would own a restaurant and/or write a cookbook. 

What is the last thing you binge-watched?

Greys Anatomy, hands-down. There are rumors that it’s the last season, and I would be crushed. Although, they’ve gone on for a while, so they’re running out of storylines. I just hope that they end it on a high note.

What’s your favorite book?

Favorite book is American Royals, and it’s about what it would be like to have a royal family in America. It’s fiction, but it’s interesting and entertaining. I’ve always been fascinated with the royal family; there’s so much legacy there.

If you could live in any sitcom, which would it be?

I would probably say The Office because it’s such a classic. When you don’t know what to watch, just put it on. It’s a feel-good, funny show and the characters just can’t be beaten.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Sushi. I can go into a sushi restaurant and enjoy anything on the menu. 

What’s your favorite children’s story?

The Olivia books by Ian Falconer. Olivia is a pig, and her professions and adventures change every book – in one book she’s a pilot, another book she’s a scientist, and in another she’s helping with Christmas. I just love those books. My middle name is also Olivia, so I really connected with that series early on.

If you had an extra hour of free time every day, what would you spend it doing?

I would put an extra hour into the morning and spend it having coffee. I’m so much more productive in the morning; I’d add an hour and just spend it working and drinking coffee. 

Any words of advice?

Wake up every day and choose to be happy. I think it’s definitely a choice, and it can be easy to let things get to you and stray away from that. But, choosing to be happy is such a key to being successful and enjoying your life, which is why we’re all here. 

Why Schaefer?

As a person who has grown up in Fort Worth, working at Schaefer has always been a goal of mine. It was a familiar place when I was in high school and people from Schaefer came into our school to speak about advertising and the industry, and it was always attractive to me that they were invested in the people of Fort Worth. I also love that Schaefer invests in the people that work here: we’re invested in the numerical growth of the agency, but we’re also really focused on growing the individual and improving their strengths and making them a more capable person. I love that the people here genuinely care about each other.

Union Park by Hillwood Communities wanted to differentiate themselves on the market to stand out with their target audience to attract more homebuyers. To do this, we dove into their existing creative suite and focused on the key elements that separated Union Park from its competitors.

Goals:

  • Evolve the creative campaign by leveraging the approved positioning and key messages
  • Update Union Park’s visual identity to reflect the vibrancy of the brand
  • Craft messaging that would stand out against competitors and stand the test of time

Differentiated Positioning

Union Park is an extraordinary place, created to celebrate the vibrancy of life in Little Elm, Texas. The community itself is dynamic, energetic, and designed for people that pour themselves into an active lifestyle. When we were discovering the market differentiators for Union Park, we wanted to focus on the active lifestyle that the community offers its homeowners. We did that by highlighting the vibrancy of the neighborhood and showcasing the vast array of activities that are available to Union Park residents. Whether it’s scavenger-hunting at Central Park or cooling off at the Cove, there are plenty of opportunities for Union Park homeowners to enjoy community and camaraderie outdoors.

Updated Messaging

When creating the campaign messaging, it was important that we capture the essence and differentiators that separate Union Park from other communities. We also needed to communicate that the variety of home prices make it an incredibly accessible neighborhood for nearly any budget and every phase of life. Furthermore, we needed to highlight that Union Park is a Live Smart™ community, developed around Hillwood’s five enduring principles: connection, well-being, enrichment, stewardship, and convenience. Each of these principles was considered when the spaces at Union Park were designed, so communicating them was crucial to accurately market the community. We created new messaging and positioning to communicate the vibrant lifestyle that Union Park offers. 

Some of our updated messaging featured copy-points: “Live Vibrantly Every Day; Here, Is The Most Vibrant Way to Live; Inspired Living for Every Phase.” Each line touches on the inspired living that helps define Union Park and resonates with new homebuyers.

Building A Comprehensive Creative Suite

When expanding and updating a brand platform, it’s important to reinforce the positioning while improving brand engagement. For Union Park, we worked within the brand platform to update the look and feel of the brand identity but ensured that each iteration still comfortably fit within the brand standards.

The updated creative suite encapsulates the essence of Union Park and evokes the same excitement for vibrant living as a walk through any of the community’s parks. It’s light and green and active and incorporates some of the natural elements that surround Union Park. The result is a fluid identity system and brand mark that accurately communicates the brand’s purpose and place, and is usable on anything from signage to web banners.

Results

  • Developed a comprehensive creative suite that is flexible across mediums
  • Updated campaign messaging to better connect with target audiences
  • Won Best Overall Advertising Program at 2020 McSam Awards
  • Created a new website focused on engagement and conversion
  • Created award-winning signage used at Union Park
  • Greatly exceeded YTD home sales goals
November 19, 2020

Community without compromise

Connecting with the right target audience is crucial to marketing success. Bluewood is a Hillwood community filled with possibilities. Known for its unique ability to balance comfort and adventure, Bluewood wanted to attract a new wave of home buyers entering the market by crafting a campaign message that rang true to its target buyer and its inspiration. So, we evolved their existing messaging to create a new campaign that attracted young, vibrant shoppers, and cemented the Bluewood brand as a community without compromise. When we set out to create updated messaging, we aimed for something that reinforced the brand’s positioning and communicated the energy of Celina and the personality and vision of the community. Celina is a city that is rapidly growing and offers new residents fantastic potential as an up-and-coming community.

We landed on “Meet the Community as Bright and Bold as You Are,” intentionally focusing our position around the experience, to better paint a picture of the lifestyle Bluewood promises. The message immediately identifies with the younger homebuyer looking to buy a home in an up-and-coming community that just happens to be situated in one of Texas’ fastest-growing cities. It nods to a growing community emboldened by the people who live there. The updated message reflects the optimism of the area, the community and our target audience to position itself right alongside this exciting stage of life – bright and bold.

October 13, 2020

We create community

Legacy. Capability. Values. Intention. These are big ideas that drive everything Hillwood Communities builds for the communities they create. So, when Hillwood needed a brand refresh and updated messaging, we leaned hard into these core tenets to accurately summarize the massive impact Hillwood has on the communities they build and the people who live there every single day. We needed to communicate these central beliefs in a cohesive and convincing brand brochure that would attract home buyers and investors.

Updated Messaging

When creating updated messaging for Hillwood, we expanded on the word “community” to accurately define the effect that Hillwood has on each of its developments. “We Create Community,” is the direction that we decided upon for the updated brand messaging. From Live Smart amenities to featuring a community garden, Hillwood takes extra steps to make each development a unique place to call home. More than that, Hillwood’s offering of communities, each with their own natural aesthetic and intrinsic values, ensures that there’s a Hillwood Community for every new homebuyer.

A Refreshed Brand Brochure

The Hillwood corporate brochure is where homebuyers and investors can interact with the Hillwood brand on a more extensive level. It needs to convince investors that Hillwood is an excellent investment opportunity and communicate to homebuyers that there is a community waiting for them underneath the Hillwood brand.

Evolved Brand Identity

Hillwood is a pioneer within the community development space. Each community they build focuses on elevating the quality, innovation and sense of community for their homeowner, offering unparalleled conveniences, all while taking subtle and grandiose steps to harbor a real sense of community among the neighborhood. Beyond the amenities that they create for their homeowners, Hillwood emphasizes the natural beauty of the land that they build on and rely on its inherent attraction as a central selling point. Every single step is taken with incredible intention aimed at improving the life of each resident.

The brochure connects all of these points by giving a detailed overview of each Hillwood Community and featuring evocative imagery of the natural aesthetics that define each community. Beyond the physical characteristics that define each community, we used imagery that captured the shared experiences and everyday interactions the amenities and walkways create. Each of these visual stories creates a compelling argument for why new home buyers should call a Hillwood community “home.” 

For potential investors, the legacy of pioneering big ideas and sparking engagement are enticing selling points that illustrate the long term and historical health of Hillwood Communities, which makes it a desirable investment. Sharing the story of Hillwood’s success and legacy right up front, aided by the visuals illustrating where Hillwood operates communicates the strength of the brand and implicitly tells investors that this is a worthy investment.

September 18, 2020

The Hill Country is Calling

Wolf Ranch – a Hillwood Community – needed a way to tell its story of camaraderie, tradition, and heritage to a new wave of homebuyers seeking the right blend of the good life and the great outdoors. More than that, they needed to market the expansion of the community that now extended its footprint to the shores of the San Gabriel River. Residents have always had amazing river views, but now they had access to the waterfront right in their backyard. 

Our job was to depict and sell an honest to goodness Texas lifestyle and do so beneath a new brand message that fits comfortably within the existing brand architecture. Connecting with new home buyers on an emotional level can be a tall task, but it can be done with evocative, succinct messaging.

The previous tagline, “The Hill Country is Calling,” reflected the geography of Wolf Ranch, nodding to the intrinsic beauty of the land and its natural enchantment. However, it didn’t represent the camaraderie and community as well as it could.

To evolve that message, we created “A Community Cut From the Land.” The refreshed tagline speaks to nature’s ability to bring people together, a natural metaphor for the thoughtful design Hillwood brings to every community they create. 

Recently, our friends at Hillwood Communities took home some serious hardware from the MCSAM Awards, which are given annually to builders, developers and associates who have made a significant and creative contribution in residential marketing through specific achievements in a given year.

Hillwood Communities won Best Overall Advertising Program for Union Park, Developer of the Year, and Lifestyle Director of the Year, among others. We couldn’t be more proud of the work that we do for Hillwood Communities and applaud their accomplishments – congratulations!

Hillwood is an incredible client to collaborate with and we’re proud of the work we’ve done for them. From creating integrated digital strategies to high-level branding and building a website focused on conversion, we’re incredibly grateful to have a client that provides us with ample opportunities to make a market impact.

***

DALLASSept. 1, 2020 VIA PRNewswire — Hillwood Communities, the award-winning master-planned community developer based in Dallas, won ten McSAM Awards Thursday during a virtual ceremony hosted by the Dallas Builders Association. The prestigious recognition included Developer of the Year as well Lifestyle Director of the Year and Best Overall Advertising Program for the developer’s Union Park community in Little Elm, Texas.

In addition to this year’s 10 awards, Hillwood Communities has received numerous McSAM Awards throughout its 32-year history across their entire portfolio in a number of categories as well as multiple awards for Developer of the Year. The McSAM Awards are given annually to builders, developers and associates who have made a significant and creative contribution in residential marketing through specific achievements in a given year.

“Being recognized with these McSAM Awards is a tremendous honor,” said Fred Balda, president of Hillwood Communities. “A substantial collective effort is what makes us successful. We are constantly evolving, using our expertise to plan and develop our communities based on the details and amenities our residents want and need. I’m so proud of our Hillwood Communities team.”

Lifestyle director Dee Davidson received the Lifestyle Director of the Year for her outstanding efforts creating an exceptional experience for Union Park community. As the Live Smart community’s onsite lifestyle director, Dee facilitates more than 300 events each year for residents, fostering relationships among residents, schools and local businesses and bringing a true sense of community to Union Park.

“I’m honored to have been recognized with a McSAM Award,” said Dee Davidson, Union Park’s lifestyle manager. Creating a quality lifestyle is at the heart of everything we do at Union Park. Providing opportunities for regular, safe, quality interaction that builds relationships is essential to making this happen.”

Hillwood Communities continue to raise the bar in terms of quality, innovation, and the unmistakable sense of community. The company purposefully designs each residential develop around the needs of the home buyers, planning walkways, gathering spaces and structural amenities to accommodate them. 

“We have always planned our communities with the resident in mind, looking ahead to anticipate their needs and wants, and designing them around that,” said Elaine Ford, senior vice president of Hillwood Communities. “I think that, along with our drive to create a sense of community, is the key to our success.”

In addition to the Best Overall Advertising Program Award, Union Park received awards for Best Graphic Continuity, Best Brochure, Best Print Ad, Best Radio Ad, Best Signage and Best Website. Hillwood Communities’ Pecan Square in Northlake, Texas, Pecan Square was awarded Best Digital Media Campaign.

For more on Hillwood Communities, visit www.hillwoodcommunities.com.

About Hillwood

Hillwood, a Perot company, is a premier commercial and residential real estate developer, investor and advisor of properties throughout North America and Europe. With a diverse portfolio of properties and home to many of the world’s leading companies, Hillwood is committed to bringing long-term value to our customers, partners and the communities we serve. 

Through its Communities division, Hillwood has delivered more than 30,000 single-family lots in 90 master-planned communities across 13 states and Costa Rica. These communities continue to raise the bar in terms of quality, innovation, and the unmistakable sense of community that sets each property apart. Before laying the physical groundwork for any new residential development, Hillwood Communities takes the time to focus on the ideals that draw people together — and the everyday interactions that strengthen those bonds. By purposefully designing its walkways, gathering spaces, and structural amenities to spark spontaneous encounters and foster shared interests, Hillwood Communities creates community in every sense. For more information, please visit http://www.hillwoodcommunities.com

In real estate, a “sea of sameness” exists that engulfs the majority of brands. From real estate companies to master-planned communities to apartment complexes, there is a lot of branding overlap that makes it difficult for consumers to differentiate one brand from another. But, this industry-wide ubiquitous branding opens the opportunity for other brands to rise above the noise and connect with more consumers on a deeper level. For Hillwood Communities, that meant telling unique brand stories for multiple communities beneath one parent company.

Goals:

  • Analyze each community individually, and define their brand’s differentiators
  • Perform detailed market research to discover how each brand stands apart from the real estate market as a whole
  • Develop branded material for each of Hillwood’s communities that can be used across mediums for various marketing goals
  • Tell distinct stories for each development that will better resonate with target consumers

Navigating The Sea of Sameness

There’s a widespread marketing problem – the sea of sameness – that affects a variety of industries, but it is particularly prevalent in real estate. The sea of sameness occurs when marketers and brands capitalize on similar strategies and KPIs, resulting in identical tones, marketing approaches, and even branding aesthetics. This ultimately dilutes a brand’s market impact, and waters-down the effectiveness of marketing strategy. This market saturation makes it incredibly hard for brands to create real connections with the consumers they serve and hurts their ability to build long-term relationships with consumers.

Strategizing Brand Differentiators

The sea of sameness isn’t all bad, though, and gives willing brands a clear opportunity to use distinctive branding and different marketing tactics to overcome the ubiquity afflicting their competition. For Hillwood, we treated each individual community as its own entity and branded around what makes each community a unique and identifiable neighborhood.

Union Park is an active community that features an onsite elementary school and expansive green spaces. We wanted the community’s energy to shine through, so we used bright, vibrant colors, and highlighted some of the young residents having fun at the park, which better connects to the young family demographics at Union Park. The energy pops off the page, and the brand lives up to the tagline “live a vibrant life.”

Wolf Ranch is situated in the Texas Hill Country and offers a scenic, relaxing way of life hidden along Georgetown’s San Gabriel River. The residents of Wolf Ranch seek escape and adventure, so the brand had the opportunity to really lean into that with messaging and creative. We chose “the hill country is calling” as a tagline, warm, natural colors, and stunning photography of the community and the surrounding Hill Country in the brochure to mimic the nature surrounding Wolf Ranch.

Bluewood is a community in every sense of the word, where residents come together to form real connections and friendships. The community offers an abundance of features such as a community pool, trails, and an on-site elementary, all within a very attainable price point that appeals to Millennial and first-time homebuyers. To brand Bluewood, we chose bright, bold colors that help communicate the community’s exuberant energy. We brought through some of the blue colors used throughout the development and chose the tagline, “a community without compromise” to better highlight all the offerings at an affordable price.

Each specific brand identity is built with identifiable marks that express the community’s individuality. That same individuality allows the brand marks to be fluid and flexible, and useful on a variety of mediums. From brochures to websites and outdoor signage, the brand is clearly communicated and identifiable. By making that connection, we’re able to help spread broader awareness of Hillwood Communities’ developments, and more meaningfully connect with a larger audience of potential home buyers.

Results:

  • Created a full brand platform and messaging pillars for each community
  • Full asset creation and ability to utilize assets across platforms
  • Created a unified brand message, look and feel for each brand