Breaking the sea of sameness
With strong recognition in Calgary’s real estate industry, Excel Homes has reimagined the experience of building and buying a home. But from a marketing perspective, it was still just another homebuilder trapped in a sea of sameness. Uninterested in just competing on price or promotions, it sought out Cult to help challenge them to become better—to imagine and implement customer engagement behaviors that did justice to their product and process innovations—to separate them from singing the same old song as all the other builders in Western Canada.
Building brand values is one thing, but finding a way to successfully communicate them is another. After carefully developing Excel’s values to best separate them from competition, they were then filtered through exercises with executive team members to ensure the values were and lived and breathed throughout the entire company. While always priding themselves on building quality homes, offering functional and efficient design, in addition to providing excellent value, we knew these would not be the things that set them apart. In order to operate a different model, we helped them think differently, behave differently, and aspire to be something more than just a homebuilder. We wanted to change the conventional approach of talking about the product, to be more about what those products really gave customers. Excel doesn’t build homes, they build the places where lives happen, where childhoods unfold, where family trees grow and prosper. Cult found a way to take what were fixed, commoditized products, and give them the inspirational story they really deserved. We showed that Excel wasn’t the average homebuilder, because they recognized homes aren’t just about concrete, steel, and glass—but people.
Excel’s entire leadership team bought into their new inspirational ethos and began to modify how, what, and why they did what they did. Just as they adopted these new principles and philosophies, much of Excel’s trade area was hit with the economic downturn resulting from falling oil prices. However, Excel responded appropriately and weathered with storm better than most of their competitors.