Wm Sykes

Insight, marketing strategy and rebrand for estate agent, Wm Sykes

Challenge

Wm Sykes & Son is Holmfirth’s longest established estate agent and auctioneers. Established 150 years ago they have a strong heritage and well-established brand. The estate agent is already extremely successful with a fantastic reputation in their market.

The housing market conditions, whilst getting better, remained tough and their market was becoming more and more crowded with new estate agents entering the market. They wanted to review their marketing activities, understand their target markets better and develop a new marketing strategy that would help them maintain their excellent position, whilst achieving further growth as the market improved.

Approach

We began with market analysis and insight. We conducted a large-scale customer survey to understand current perceptions and carried out a full competitor review. It was clear from the findings that the estate agent had a great reputation. However there was also a mixture of misleading perceptions. Some customers perceived them to be as slightly old-fashioned, yet many believed their heritage and well established reputation made them unique. Some said they saw them as estate agents whilst others viewed them as auctioneers or primarily linked with farming.

We developed a strategy that would build upon their success and reach new markets whilst keeping existing customers happy. We created a new brand strategy. The main ‘mothership’ brand was given a refresh, building upon the heritage style and using a Farrow and Ball blue synonymous with beautiful country cottages that evoked quality and style. We developed a new strapline and copy that communicated their differentiators. The strapline we created, ‘trusted for generations’, communicated their main brand strengths; their heritage and customer loyalty. We then developed a series of sub-brands so that customers could better understand what they do and how they can help.  The new sub-brands are simple and easy to recall; Residential, Rentals, Auctions, Agricultural and a new service Prestige. Prestige was created to attract home sellers and buyers at the top end of the market, or those with distinctive properties. This service includes high-quality marketing, professional photography and home staging.

Once we had agreed the new brands we began to develop all their marketing communications. This included a new folder and marketing inserts to promote each service, stationery, signage, advertising campaigns, social media platforms, property brochures and window displays. We planned and wrote all the copy for the new website and helped to source the right web design partner, choosing Redbak, who designed and developed the site.  We worked with Wm Sykes existing suppliers ensuring brand consistency many of which are local including sign-makers, specialist property brochure printers, window display fitters, third party websites like Rightmove, printers and more. We project managed everything delivering the full rebrand.

Results

Following the development of their new marketing strategy we implemented the full rebrand and relaunch. This gave them an immediate return. Three months after the launch Wm Sykes & Son have 145% more new instructions than their nearest competitor. They are the number one in the market by a long stretch. They are also selling properties quickly and have sold over a third of their properties in the last 3 months.

Many properties are selling as soon as they are marketed. Their new Facebook page achieved over 200 likes one week after launch and has helped them sell properties, some selling within 24hrs. They received great feedback from customers including ‘new branding looks great’. In July alone they sold 40 properties, achieving 50% above target.

Wm Sykes & Son are celebrating their 150th year. We created a special 150th anniversary campaign with a new heritage-style logo, special office signage, pin badges, key rings and a charity summer ball planned for later in the year.

“I am really pleased with our new marketing strategy, it gives us a clear plan to allow the business to grow. Thanks to Laura’s work we now have a brand and marketing campaigns that communicates what makes us different. I would recommend We Are Circle to any business wishing to grow through their marketing strategy, brand and marketing activities.”

Rob DixonPartner, Wm Sykes & Son