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October 25, 2006

Your Family, Branded

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You may not know it, but you are a marketing maven. You've developed a split second ability to take in and understand advertising messages that are coming at you so often and so quickly, you probably don't even realize it. Everything's an ad, and they're insidious. Sometimes it's a beer commercial bundled with a movie pro-mo. Sometimes it's a billboard shrunken down to fit along the back of a park bench.

If something about it catches your eye and captures your interest, you'll take the information in. You know before you realize it if the shape or colors or symbols or sounds relate to something you're interested in. Just like you could use those cues to look at a line up of people and guess who would be most likely use an i-pod, or a barbeque grill, or a sewing machine.

Constant exposure to advertising has made you a brand expert, and you can match brands with their consumers. You can choose brands that sum up the way you see yourself (or want to see yourself), too. That's the idea Eric Alan, a creative director from L.A., had when he hired architect extraordinaire Neil Denari to redesign his family's modern home.

In order to design this very modern house, they had to come up with an overview of who the consumers (or, really the inhabitants) were going to be. They developed the Family Brand. It gave them a focus, a goal and an audience for which to build the project, which, like all great products, has a name--The Happy New House.

It was designed around such brand attributes as: "Artsy but not artsy-fartsy. Cultured by not elitist." and "Spontaneous but not disorderly."

See the whole house concept (it's still being built) here.

While it's not within everyone's scope or desire to build a brand new house designed by a famous architect, it is within our power to think about the idea of brand when we do other home improvements.

Remodeling a kitchen? Think about what you want to get out of it-- a place to relax, to entertain, to cook for a big family?  Think about what your attributes are. Do you go gaga for new technology, revel in luxury, insist on green goods?  Use your answers to develop a plan that will facilitate your needs, and build your home into a place that represents a brand you really care about: yours.

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