Using Data to Dictate Brand Strategy


University House needed to differentiate their student housing product brand in the marketplace, with both student and parents. They needed a new corporate brand that helps open new markets, softening the banking and investment communities and University/College management officials. Since the college student is very web-savvy, we were asked to devise a strategy that could be communicated effectively online as the primary mission.


After a thorough analysis of University House competitors, positioning in the marketplace and perception with the end-user, CRE8 recommended a G-POD (Glaring Point of Difference) that accented the concept of a built-in synergy between Housing, Academics and Social environments - in a luxury setting. Attracting on the basis of a desirable student lifestyle rather than merely on property features: "Live on your own, not by yourself" allowed University House to clearly articulate the differences between life at one of their communities versus “conventional” off-campus apartments.

The brand was heavily promoted via the new website that focused on highlighting the "whys" and “hows” the University House lifestyle associated with "live on your own, but not by yourself". The website not only provides a complete overview of the brand difference, it has dozens of property by property sub-sites that provide information packets for the student to make a smart choice. The content presentation is also geared towards helping the student make their case to the real decision-makers: their parents. Among the promotional tactics was the launch of a second website - a soft-sell site for the University House website designed to demonstrate how well University House understands their needs.


University House now has a corporate brand, which can be quickly and easily deployed market by market, as they initiate new properties. The content management system developed allows replication of website material and facilities for each new community, on the fly. There has been a dramatic increase in web traffic, from no presence to almost 40,000 unique visitors a month, per development. Retention time and recurring visits are high, indicating that the messaging/content of the site appeals to the target and that the site is reaching the appropriate audience. 73% of traffic is arriving as users enter in their web browser. This indicates strong brand awareness among the target group.

The online advertising venture has gone very well and continues to grow. Facebook referral traffic has jumped almost 70% since program inception and has represented as much as 20% of the traffic to the site.

Overall, University House gained exposure through PR, online initiatives and vendor relations programs, plus brand exposure efforts.

10 Year+ Scope of Service:

  • Offline / Online Strategy
  • Creative Development/Brand ID
  • Custom Campaign Build
  • Responsive Web Development & Hosting for 40+ Properties
  • Development POS & Signage
  • SaaS Development for On-site Employees
  • Digital Marketing/Search Engine Optimization
  • Print
  • Analytics/Reporting
*Other Multi-family partners include Stockbridge Capital, Woodward Management Partners, Simpson Property Group, Moran & Company and The Worthing Companies