Specializing in elegantly crafted homes that are both practical and sophisticated, Celebration Homes is building an thriving reputation on four key principals — craftsmanship, choice, character, and consistency.
Established by 20-year custom home building professional, Randy Ettinger in 2009, Celebration Homes is staffed with highly-skilled personnel, committed to making the home building process an exciting and enjoyable experience from start to finish.
This case focuses on brand development, marketing strategy, communications, and overall brand management for the Edmonton-based home builder.
The home building landscape in Edmonton is emense with over 100 builders competing for consumers’ attention. The largest competitors have endless budgets and massive outreach campaigns, swallowing up every advertising opportunity available. Specialized magazines, newspapers, TV, radio, billboards are regularly purchased by the “big five” volume builders — Jayman, Cameron, Sterling, Pacesetter, and Avi. The rest of the builders are forced to play the game and advertise. Despite the majority of the smaller, boutique builders offering a more premium product than the volume builders; without a brand, without charging premium prices, and without awareness, many fizzle into obscurity.
As a new entrant with a relatively small budget, Celebration Homes was unable to compete by marketing its way to the top, nor by owning the best land available in the city. Instead, Celebration chose to play the game differently and engaged Urban Jungle to help develop its brand.
The main objective was to evolve the new company into a brand. A brand with a mission to become Edmonton’s most sought-after builder by being known as “the most enjoyable home building experience in the market.”
Primary Marketing Challenges
The primary marketing challenges were to:
- Create sustainable awareness on a limited budget
- Create a luxurious product with an affordable price tag—one that could compete head-to-head with the price ranges of the volume builders
Celebration Homes entered the Edmonton housing market in 2009 with a strategy targeting home owners who preferred a “semi-custom” home buying experience. Our strategy was to play up Celebration’s biggest assets: people, product, and price; while downplaying its perceived weaknesses: equity, limited product, and less than ideal building locations.
Through our research Urban Jungle uncovered four key attributes; craftsmanship, choice, character, and consistency, which became the pillars grounding the brand. These four attributes, along with the aforementioned assets helped us position the company in a crowded home building scene as the enjoyable, affordable, and luxurious alternative to buying volume-built homes.
The primary audience included males and females aged 30-45, with a heavy female skew. Most are post-secondary educated, currently holding an ownership, management, or professional position, and are married with young children. The secondary audience focused on local land developers and sub-trades—those whom Celebration Homes could partner with to deliver its brand experience.
Communication Tools and Tactics
Celebration Home’s brand platform development included elements such as Strategic Counsel, Stationery, Colour Scheme, Typeface, Product Presentation Packages, Illustration, Magazine and Newspaper Advertisements, House Rendering / 3-D Modelling, Website, Web Marketing (SEO), Direct Mail, News Releases, Photography, Show Home Window Wrap Displays, Office/Selection Centre Signage, Large Format Signage, and Lot Signage.
In 2010, Celebration homes exceeded its sales targets. Limited to only a few areas in Edmonton, it managed to outsell its biggest competitor, and sell-out its agreement in all three developments. Through December 2010 and January 2011; typically the slowest sales period of the year, Celebration Homes outsold nearly all of its competitors, including two of the “big five.”