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Luxury Real Estate Marketing Tips

Not In Your Face Marketing VS In Your Face Marketing!

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Pictured above, is a wonderful example of subtle marketing vs in your face marketing.  In this window, you see 3 dogs and a puppy playing pool or billiards.  There are three pieces of merchandise displayed.  The tie around the dog wearing a striped shirt, the hat on the black and white dog, and the jacket on the hook.  

When marketing luxury real estate, or any other segment of real estate many choose the "In Your Face" style of marketing the homes they have listed or for that matter themselves.  Depending on the clientele you want to attract, these two forms of marketing as displayed by two famous stores in Beverly Hills will work for some and repel others depending on their psychographics. "Psychographic segmentationis dividing your market based upon consumer personality traits, values, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles. Segmentation will allow you to better develop and market your products because there will be a more precise match between the product and each segment's needs and wants."

The subtle version attracts those who are confident in themselves and do not to flaunt the origin of their purchases.  They do not delight in letting you know which store they bought it in, and what they can afford. And the last thing, they would do is wear the initials of said store on their clothing.  The Hermes brand is a perfect example where this psychographicis more likely to shop.  Since Hermes is fully aware of their clientele values and personality traits, they market accordingly.

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Right next door to Hermes is Bijan'swindow display, which is an example of in your face marketing.  As you looks at this window, the bulletin board which is the background is full of photos of famous people who shop here, fabric swatches and scissors.  The table displays all kinds of items for sale.  Your eyes go all over the window.  There are apples, flowers, ties, bags, etc..  

Bijan is appealing to those who express themselves and gain their confidence from the objects they can afford to buy.. (If you got it flaunt it mentality!)They  will tell you that "This famous person" buys their clothes and accessories here! And Bijan'sson took a picture of them also, which will be displayed in the window along with actors, presidents and heads of state. And with that, they are establishing their importance in their social world.

We are not critiquing either company's products, nor the people who prefer one or the other, nor are we saying that one marketing form is better than the other..  We are not saying that an individual may be attracted to both places.  We are just saying that the majority who will shop at Hermes will be more attracted to their stores than to Bijan's.  And the same is true for Bijan.  The majority who are attracted to Bijan will not necessarily be trotting over to Hermes...

Our advice: Know the pyschographicsof your marketplace and market accordingly.  Neither is good or bad, they just are the way they are.  And you will be more successful if your personal psychographics match your clientele's.  People like to do business with people like themselves. 





Branding: The Advantage of Authenticity Versus Playing The Role Authentically!

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Authenticity is perhaps the most important concept in personal branding for luxury real estate or any other real estate marketing professionals. Without authenticity, you live in a masquerade ball or hell as we see it.

What is at stake if you forego authenticity? Quite simply, it is your own happiness. When you walk out the door, you have to remember to take your mask and put it on like Eleanor Rigby (Beatles song), "waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.."

Some real estate marketing professionals think they need a persona to aid them in being a success in their careers.  We certainly met many when we had our practice in commercial real estate, as well as those in luxury and other areas of residential real estate.. They were Oscar worthy  actors in their creation of their role . They had very successful careers!.  

They were obsessed with the authenticity of their role, the right thing to wear, the right car to drive, the right restaurant to be seen at, the right school for their children, etc. However, underneath all that was a profound unhappiness.  Some no longer knew who they were, or what their real face looked like.

As brand strategists, it is our job to assist our clients to drill down to their core identity, identify what is truly important to them, what they stand for, what their genuine values are, as opposed to the values of others. Only then can you make explicit, in the form of a graphic representation and a genuine marketing message, the authentic personal brand. We ask our clients what they can do better than anyone else in their marketplace. But, they also must be truly passionate about doing it. 

An authentic pursuit cannot be one based on seeking the admiration of the crowd at large, your parents,your spouse, or any other influencers in your life.  The only person that matters in all this is you, All else is a masquerade ball in hell!

" Authenticity means erasing the gap between what your firmly believe inside and what you reveal to the outside world."  

Adam Grant

Branding Moments: Something To Crow About?

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If you are going to spend money on a print ad,  make sure you have something to crow about.  One of the ways to do this is with cleverness and  humor.  Humor is something easy to remember.  It sticks in your mind. Basic house shots and head shots is what everyone opts for and are easy to miss and a big yawn to anyone who looks at it.

This ad in one of the recent Wine Spectator publications stood out!  It elevated the look of the ordinary black rooster logo.  He now has a title and new fine clothes. was elevated to his lordship, no less. This ad promotes all the wineries that are produced within the Chianti Classicoregion.  They follow this guideline "Chianti Classicowinesmust contain a minimum of 80 percent of the Sangiovesevariety. The remainder can be made from native grapes such as Canaioloor  Colorino, Wines made only from Sangiovesehave been permitted since 1996." 

If you are going to use a tone of humor and or cleverness, be sure it fits your personality and brand.  If not, your crowing will fall on deaf ears! 




Is Luxury A Comfortable Pair Of Shoes Or A State of Mind?

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We have been cogitating, pondering and mulling over the state of luxury today.  I (A) have read numerous articles by different experts in the field of branding, marketing, and those who report on luxury sales.

In an earlier post we mentioned "affordable luxury" as a category, which in our opinion is an oxymoron. An article in Harvard Business review by Michael Silverstein and Neil Fisk coined the term masstige brands for "mass prestige" brands in their book Trading Up. These are brands that are affordable to the masses.  In real estate talk, the MacMansions are an example of a masstige brand. 

We have often asked wealthy people and luxury real estate marketing professionals the question: What does luxury mean to you?  One of the answers that stayed with us was from a very successful luxury agent whose answer was, "Luxury is a pair of comfortable shoes!"  We identified with this one recalling a trip to Spain. Prior to the trip, we had outfitted ourselves with comfortable shoes that ended up being sheer torture. Luxury was buying new shoes and being able to walk again!

We have always maintained that luxury is not just expensive goods, it is a state of mind.  What does luxury mean to you? Stay tuned for Part 2.

Branding Moment: Is This An Oxymoron?

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In the Summer of issue of Net-A-Porter, Michael Kors who declared himself as owning the category of "Affordable Luxury" published this ad. We see it as an oxymoron (a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (such as cruel kindness) broadly : something (such as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.)

Affordable luxury cannot possibly include a private jet.  The cost of operating a Gulfstream is $3,822.00 per hour. Be careful when making a statement about your brand that contradicts your unique concept, If you are in the luxury real estate marketing arena be sure your presentation materials are spot on your brand.  

Honor Your Reader: Don't Fall Into the Trap of Faux & Fluff Posts!

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As a luxury or any other real estate marketing professional writing blog posts or articles as a means of getting business and making yourself known and well thought of in your marketplace, spend ample time researching the facts.  Use reliable sources (verified sources) that tell both sides of the story, not just the ones who agree with your point of view, and give links to those resources. Honor your reader by letting them decide how they view it,

Recently, one of our daily feeds' headlines stated that many individuals were leaving the Facebook platform, and or changing their privacy settings.  This was a study done by Pew Research.  When I read the study, it presented both sides of the story, some were leaving and some were signing on.  The feed just told half of the story in their headline, however, they were smart to give the reference.  Many would turn around and repeat half the story, and let it spiral via social media and becomes another Faux news tidbit.  Personally, we like Pew Research organization as they give you the facts (both sides of the story), and you get to decide your interpretation.

Two years ago, we discovered that what was one a reliable source for us, (Wall Street Journal) was not so reliable.  They updated a news article on one of our Santa Barbara County Reservoirs, Lake Cachuma. Their headline stated that the water level was so low the fish were dying.  That very day, our local news reported on the Annual Bass Contest at Lake Cachuma showing a photo father and son duo who had won a $10,000 prize for their catch... This was one of the many reasons we unsubscribed to the Wall Street Journal. 

When we lived in Napa, every time severe rainstorms were predicted, the news broadcasted Storm Alerts warned everyone in the Bay Area, that the Napa River would no doubt flood that weekend.  And the San Francisco news vans drove up and parked near the river hoping it would flood. That had a huge effect on the Napa economy, whose feeder market is the Bay Area.  People canceled their reservations at hotels, restaurants and other commercial venues.  Napa depends on the tourist dollars as well as the wine trade.  Faux news kills employment opportunities.

With the recent fires in the Napa Valley last year, the news predicted that the wine would taste smoky.  They did not bother finding out that all the grapes had been harvested and the juice was resting and fermenting in their sealed barrels, and were not affected by the smoke. Think of the economic effect.  Napa County is one the richest counties in California!  We were close friends with the then CEO of Napa County.

Yesterday, as we were walking out of a store, one of our acquaintances was ranting and raving about the presidential alert test?  This gave her an opportunity to to critique the present administration.  Did she have the facts? This alert system became a law and was signed by President Obama in 2015.  And the president, by law, cannot communicate directly to us.  And the Faux facts continued to spread yesterday like wildfire.

Fluff  are the Public Relations Vanity pieces.  We see them in the luxury and other real estate arenas. Some real estate companies praise themselves as the end all be all gift to the world of real estate with the claim that they know it all, and they are the very best at what they do.  They have facts slanted to their point of view.  This is known as an advertorial aka Fluff.  

The other category of “fluffers” are the virtual influencers.  These folks are paid by companies to promote items they "love" and could not live without on all social media outlets.  Recently, one of these influencers from a luxury store named 3 cosmetic items that made her day, every day!  Just for fun and research I checked it out, and I would not recommend any of these products to my friends.

The next category of fluff is the top 100 or top 25 people or businesses in a category (real estate, social media, sports).  This is more fluff.  We have a local one that our Independent publication promotes annually claiming it is a reader- based survey.  The way to get on the list is to advertise with them year-round.  Our dry cleaner recently sent us an email asking us to vote for them, as did our go-to Thai restaurant, and we rarely pick up the Independent.  

Facts are objective. Facts are neither true or false.  Opinion is one's point of view of the facts, an interpretation of the facts. nothing less and nothing more.  One's point of view is neither good or bad, it is a point of view.  

Where do you find facts?  They are rarely on the first three pages of Google which are laden with paid ads.  Those first three pages exist because they are paid for by those looking to promote themselves.  Remember, Google wants to make money, they have to answer to their stockholders every quarter.  They have no clue as to whether those articles have any validity or are even factual!  Here is a telling example:

Our Chamber of Commerce hired the #1 authority on the first page of Google on the subject of social media.  Mr. Expert negotiated himself a nice fee, which the Chamber paid in advance.  When he gave his talk, it became obvious to the members that this man knew less than they did.  When confronted, his retort was" I know how to be #1 on Google."  We rest our case.

Our advice to you.  Honor your reader, spend ample time researching the facts, and give a link to your references.



 

 

Re-Branding Moment: Bye-Bye Donuts!

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When working with a luxury real estate company or an agent, we work as a team by thoroughly researching the marketplace.  One of these involves reviewing statistics, with a focus on strengths and what is working as well as what is not.  This give all of us the 360 degree perspective, and becomes the basis coming up for the perfect strategy and brand or re/brand.

Starting January 2019, Dunkin Donuts will drop the "Donuts" part of their name.  This decision was made based on their sale statistics.  The company has found that 60% of their sales have been on beverages, in particular their coffee, which many people are very fond of.  

They are also doing well with their other beverages such as tea, and they noticed that their customers appreciate their great speedy "food to go services" which includes donuts, but is not limited to them as the former name implies.  Their future plans include opening another 1000 stores throughout the US by 2020.  Re branding of an established  brand focuses on developing a new or expanded identity, which will differentiate them in the minds of their customers.  

For instance, one of our clients who had been successful at selling rehabs realized  through extensive review of his marketplace and statistics, that his focus should be solely on that segment of the marketplace.  Some knew that he was a specialist, but not enough realized his talent.  Tweaking the name, changed the perception and insured that he is working at what he loves best in real estate.

Is it time for you to say bye-bye donuts?

Branding Moment: A Fun Brand Personality!

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Like people, brands have personalities usually reflecting the ownership of the company and their place in the marketplace.  Yesterday, as we were leaving Beverly Hills and waiting for the light to turn green on Sunset Boulevard we noticed this truck in front of us.  Among all the mobile groomers we see while on the road, this one stood out. 

We liked the play on the word potpourri (referring to a mixture of things) to petpourri (they groom both cats and dogs).  The basket labeled cats and dogs was full of happy creatures.  If we needed this service, they would certainly be one we would interview.   We like fun brand personalities when it comes to the pet world, these folks would be on our wave length.

When we work on branding a luxury real estate company or agent, one of the facets we focus on is personality.  The brand has to reflect the personality of the company owner or the individual.  Personality attracts people to you, and people like dealing with people they can relate to, people like themselves.  

Does your brand have a personality?

How To Get Out Of The Doldrums: The Value of Smile Landmarks!

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We have learned over the years of owning our various businesses, that feeling good every day, and especially in business is very important.  As a matter of fact, we wake up daily with the mantra, "nothing is more important than we feel good!"  We learned this mantra from a very good friend. When we feel good, everything aligns and a myriad of doors open for us.  Our senses are heightened and we can distinguish the wheat from the chaff.  We are quick at making the right decision.  

We are often asked how do we get out of the doldrums, that low, tired, disappointed bank of feelings brought about by some insidious circumstance of other, like the news, the real estate deal that fell through, the friend that disappointed you. We don't allow ourselves to dwell on anything negative more than a minute or two.  Even when the two of us are in concert on something unpleasant, one or the other snaps out of it.

We distract ourselves by getting back to the present with a new conversation that makes us feel good. There is always something or someone we appreciate, or we focus on spotting something beautiful or unusual.  We call these places smile landmarks!  If you have followed our posts, you know that we love having smile landmarks. These are places that when focusing on them bring a smile to your face.  

While driving in Santa Barbara, we notice the ocean, the landscaping on the freeway. Yesterday on our way to a meeting, we noticed this adorable smile on a bright yellow car.   Some of the roads we drive on are memorable for their magnificent wisteria hedge, and in season we will take a detour to check out the blooms.  Our home has cut flowers and or orchids in every room.   We have no excuse for a sad and crabby face.  When all else fails, Quincy cat is always a source of smiles. 

Do you have smile landmarks?

The Advantages Of Getting Off Your Point Of View!

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One of the most important aspects in luxury or any other type of real estate marketing is to be able to shift your point of view.  Have you ever been in a situation when you thought you were “on the same page” with your client, only to discover that you were actually a world apart?  

 

You were looking at and talking about the exact same set of facts, (they are seeing black and you are seeing gray) but you both were aligned to a different model of thinking that yielded alternative meanings. 

 

The next time you are speaking with someone who sees exactly the same set of facts that you are looking at but is coming up with a completely different interpretation, think of this graphic.  Two sides of an argument really can be right sometimes. Take the time to loosen your grip on your fixed way of viewing things and try to see things their way.

 

We are not suggesting that you do away with your point of view.  Instead of presenting your case and the sanctity of your point of view, we are suggesting that you open your mind to consider how the other person is seeing the same set of circumstances.

 

This means developing the skill of looking at things wholly from another person's point of view.  It is adopting the other person's way of looking at things and considering the situation from their side of the equation without bringing your point of view and preconceived notions and judgments into the mix.  By demonstrating your willingness to understand, the other side will be more inclined to listen to you.

 

The practice of shifting your point of view gives you an edge when it comes to negotiations, marketing your listings, as well as having great business and personal relationships. It also gives you the advantage of noticing the small details that bring about smiles.

 

Your perspective will always be there again when you come back. It doesn’t mean you have to take actions that go against your grain. At the very least your life will become richer because you have learned a “new language” of perception.

 

The best part of this is that you have enriched your experience and your ability to understand people.   And that shows in your conversation, in your marketing and in your demeanor!

Branding Moments: Unique To Be Unique?


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When we saw these bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, we were confused by the name.  The word "Chateau" is a French word for castle.  Smith is not necessarily a French surname, however it is possible that through immigration, there are now French Smith (s) in France. However, this wine is from Washington State. It has nothing to do with France!

The font used is Gothic implying heritage and history.  The website reveals that this is the brainchild of Charles Smith, formerly a rock band manager turned winemaker.  Chateau Smith is one of the brands, along with Eve Chardonnay, Kung Fu Girl Riesling, The Velvet Devil Merlot, Boom Boom Syrah, etc..

Here are the Winemaker's notes:  Elegant, Raspberry, Cherry, Full Bodied Columbia Valley, Washington- Elegant and nicely focused to show off its bright raspberry and cherry fruit. Lightly veiled in fine tannins, picking up white pepper and cinnamon notes on the lively finish.

We laughed at the name and moved on to look at other brands. In our ever so humble opinion, it was unique to be unique!  What do you think?

A Brilliant Branding & Marketing Lesson From Nike!

This past week at the US Tennis Open Nike debuted this video of their client, Serena Williams.  What makes it brilliant marketing is that Nike used actual home video footage of 9 year old Serena being coached by her father.  He is encouraging her to do it as if she is at the US Open. As she hits the ball as a 9 year old, the video is interspersed with cuts of her as an adult hitting the ball at the US Open.  You can hear her father's voice coaching her, "This is You at he US Open. "Good follow-through," Richard says as she smacks a ball over the net and, "Nice try!"  She has won 6 US Open titles and may win another one this coming week.

What makes it brilliant branding is a subtle difference in the way Nike marketed their taking the focus of themselves and putting the focus on their star.  It is not all about Nike, it is all about Serena.  That subtlety is what many real estate companies miss in their branding guidelines.  They forget who their focus should be on!  Instead of focusing on their brand, they would be so much more successful if they focused on their agents!

Branding Moments: A Memorable Branding Ad To Achieve Top Of Mind!

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Yesterday morning, while reading the Wine Spectator magazine issue of Restaurants with the best wine cellars, Inoticed this ad that caught my attention and made me smile.  This ad cleverly illustrated that Côte du Rhône wines should be top of mind when it comes to French wine selection.

The Côtes du Rhône region is not well known among those who enjoy French wines.  Many French wine lovers associate Burgundy and Bordeaux as the best of wines produced in France.  Wines has been produced on both banks of the Rhône River region since Pre-Roman times.  

With a dash of humor by using the image of the lion, (the king of beasts) and the slogan "Be Your Own Character" it appeals to those who can think beyond the norm, and are courageous enough to venture into new experiences. 

Cheers!

Branding Moments: A Market For Every Taste--Bread And Butter Wine?

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In real estate whether one specializes in luxury, condos, or affordable housing, it is important to have the right brand and marketing message that your market can relate to.   Here is an example of a wine brand that demonstrates its understanding of its market.

Bread And Butter Chardonnay has its place in the "approachable wine category,"like its Aussie cousin, Yellow Tail.  An approachable wine is one that tastes good and is geared to that specific segment of the wine market who wants a good wine, without focusing on the intricacies and the nuances appreciated by wine aficionados. They also easy on the pocket book. 

From this standpoint, the name "Bread and Butter" fits perfectly.  The dictionary define Bread and Butter as: "1. a person's livelihood or main source of income, typically as earned by routine work. 2. an everyday or ordinary person or thing."

From our standpoint, the brand fits perfectly! There is a market for every taste.  Cheers!

Balancing High Tech and High Touch Part 2

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In October of 2013, we wrote a post on this subject.  Almost 5 years later, we revisit the same concept of the double-edged sword of finding the balance between high tech and high touch.  High touch remains the winner

Not a day goes by without someone bringing up a new fix, a new link, a new SEO tip, or a Google change to lure leads into their website. And every day a new company pops up with some lead generation program promising leads, phrases and keywords, zip codes in order to make you rich. While some of these fixes may and do work, they do not guarantee success, or high placement on Google. This is true both in the luxury real estate and other real estate marketing segment.

The companies that offer all this stuff can outspend any real estate agent or independent agent on this planet, and they do.  And they are busy outspending each other in order to gain dominance for the same pool of buyers and potential listings.   The big box companies have also entered this game, and some of the companies are planning to go head to head with the three major aggregators.

Recently one of our friends in Los Angeles listed her magnificent estate with a high profile successful independent firm.  As we were reviewing the presentation on line, we noticed that it was difficult for us to find who the listing agent was.  What came up, when we looked up the listing by the address were the usual aggregators followed by the big box firms. The listing company was way down on the first page of our search.

Why did our friend list with an independent, when she could have had all the google juice with a big box firm and their star agents?  She was not impressed with the big box stars who strutted their stuff and their high-tech knowhow, nor their global and Hollywood connections.  

What made her sign that listing contract was the compassion and understanding of her situation that these two agents exhibited.  She knew that they had access to the same tools and contacts that any other agency has.  She felt comfortable with them as well as comforted.  She left town knowing the home was in good hands. 

We agree with the Dalai Lama’s statement, “I think technology really increased human ability. But technology cannot produce compassion.” In our experiences with high producers in the high-end market, we have found that the secret ingredient in their success was not how much they spend on tech, it was their innate compassion when working with their clients. Compassion cannot be bought or faked.  

Branding Moment: What Does Your Brand Stand For?

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As a luxury real estate marketing professional, it is absolutely essential to clearly articulate your Brand Position. That is, the conceptual place you want to “own” in the minds of your target market including the benefits you what them to think about when they think of your personal or company brand.

Facebook is under siege by the media and by the governments of many countries due massive breaches of security. Facebook users have had their confidence shaken to the core as more evidence of Facebook’s disregard for user privacy is being exposed.

Meanwhile, Apple, with its $1 Trillion valuation has taken the position that their company values and stands for security and privacy. Every time Facebook or Google is called on the carpet regarding their disregard for security and privacy, Apple’s brand value, in the minds of their target market, soars.  That is an important reason that Apple’s target market is willing to pay a premium for their superb products. Embracing security and privacy as a brand position has translated handsomely to Apple’s bottom line.

What does our personal or company brand stand for? Take a stance that is juxtaposed to your competition. Own that concept and its benefits in the minds of your target market. Then watch your business soar!

Vespas Arrive At Cold Spring Tavern: Full Expression Of Bella Figura!

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Cold Spring Tavern in Santa Barbara is a former stagecoach stop (now restaurant) in the Los Padres National Forest.  It is a beloved spot for food, music, and motorcycle meet ups.  This our first sighting of Vespa here.  We loved the rainbow of colors, the matching jackets and helmets.  It exemplified the concept of Bella Figura.  Here is an excerpt (from the Eyetalia Blog) that gives you the gist of the concept.

"Bella figura can mean many things, but at its core is presentation…how one looks, how one comports oneself, how one makes the best possible impression in all things. 

That such a concept is hardwired into the Italian psyche is no surprise: what else could be expected from a country that’s been creating beauty for centuries? Beauty is revered in Italy, whether expressed grandly through art and architecture, or more simply by the perfect cut of a suit."

Happy Sunday

BSM (Before Social Media): Practicing The Ancient Art Of Networking Face-to Face!

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A long, long time ago, BSM (Before Social Media) there was an ancient practice known as meeting socially, in person, face-to-face. In a business context, these meetings were known as networking. It is an art form rarely practiced by luxury real estate marketing professionals today. 

But, those who proactively embrace networking can soar to top-of-mind status within their marketplace. They are able to stand apart from their competitors who have retreated and are hiding behind their digital screens waiting for business to happen to them. Agents who consistently integrate the art of networking as their dominant marketing strategy can significantly increase their visibility, their listing inventory, and their commission income.

Watch this 3 minute video case study of one of our most successful clients who has set new standards for the art of networking in luxury real estate marketing.  

Branding Moments: Finding The Uncontested Market Niche!

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If you have followed our blog, you know that we are proponents of niche marketing when it comes to having a successful real estate practice.  Regardless of how big or small the city or the marketplace is, we have successfully helped our clients find the uncontested market niche.  There is always a gap that no one is filling or has noticed.  Here is an example from the very crowded and competitive wine industry

Yesterday, we drove to Los Olivos (a small city, population 825, in the Santa Barbara County Wine area), where wine tasting stores, restaurants and specialty stores abound. There we spotted a new logo (pictured above) on one of the 25 tasting rooms that dot the two main cross streets.  We decided that we would visit them after lunch.  

Our first question was:  What is Solminer?  

Solminer means mining the sun, and the sun is part of what makes the vines grow.

What is different about Solminer, among the 25 other tasting rooms in Los Olivos, and the 200+ wineries in Santa Barbara County?

They grow grapes that come from Austria, which no one else has in this region.  Here is an excerpt from their website:

"Our personal desire is to reflect the vineyard in the wine and experiment with Austrian varietals.  Since the beginning, we thought Grüner Veltliner would do well here and soon after we discovered that the Austrian red grape, Blaufränkisch, is perfect for our climate as well. 

We've rounded things out with a bit of Muscat to create an Austrian inspired dry "Muskateller"... We also have new plantings of Riesling to add to our  sources from neighboring vineyards that we have selected for their climate, soils and sustainable growing practices. 700-900 cases are produced per year. "

This was our first taste of wine from Austrian grapes.  All four whites were exceptional.  The other differentiator was their wines are not as high in alcohol 12-13%, unlike many of the new wines which can be as high as 15%.   This is in keeping with the European style, where wine is meant to be savored and heighten the taste of the food served, instead of making one tipsy.

This is the story of Solminer's uncontested market niche.  Although we generally prefer red wines over whites, these won us over.  They would be perfect with to accompany  a cheese platter or seafood.

Like in winemaking, there are many niches in real estate.  Some are obvious (focusing on a certain type of property, waterfront, land, condo), and some are not, and some need research to find the exact parameters. This research will open your eyes and minds as to many possibilities that are available. 

Branding Moments: Do You Have An Uncontested or Underserved Market Niche?

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This business model pictured above is a perfect illustration of the concept of the uncontested or underserved market niche. Is this business model uncontested or Underserved?

When looking for an underserved or uncontested market niche, you have to spend time researching the marketplace in order to identify it.  In real estate or any other business, it means that there are very few concentrating on that segment of the market. Real estate professionals often focus on working in areas where there is plenty of competition. Their logic is simple driven by the notion that they can do a better job than the agent or business that is thriving there.

In our commercial real estate career, we assumed that there was money to be made in working the Beverly Hills triangle, because of the high lease rates and high prices for the commercial buildings. However, there was very little money to be made, because there were three dominant players who owned the marketplace. All three were excellent agents, and two of the three owned commercial buildings in what is known as the Golden Triangle. 

Trying to carve a dent in that market area was equivalent to swimming with the sharks, also known as a red ocean strategy. (This refers to a book titled Blue Ocean Strategy, “How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant”, written in 2004 by W. Chan Kim and RenéeMauborgne,two Harvard professors.} When you swim with the sharks, the competition is fierce and to remain alive you have to battle for a piece of the action.

Blue Ocean Strategy refers to finding an arena where you can thrive without major competition, and become the market leader. This led us to researching different areas of the Los Angeles Westside. We noticed that the marketplace outside of the Golden Triangle had very little professional representation with many “for lease or for sale by owner signs.” This area became our blue water market place.  Within a few years, we were known as the go to agents in that marketplace, and had our signs on every new development.  Those who tried to compete eventually gave up.   

In our opinion, “milk and eggs.com” is swimming in shark infested waters.  Food delivery to busy households is an arena dominated by big players with large marketing budgets like Amazon’s Whole Foods, Kroger and Albertson’s.  Their claim to fame is that they pick up from farmers their produce and products, so they are the equivalent to shopping at the famers market, which is what they were doing in our neck of the woods where many farms and avocado ranches are located.  Eventually someone is going to fold or be acquired.

Are you swimming with the sharks or enjoying an uncontested market niche?