Memorable and Engaging Marketing

Memorable and Engaging Marketing

Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted.

…the trouble is I don’t know which half,” uttered back in the 1800s by John Wanamaker, the Philadelphia marketing pioneer whose department stores ultimately became part of Macy’s; Wanamaker’s words still ring true today. Ironically, at the exact time prospective new home buyers are actively seeking information to help them make the best new home purchase, too many messages fail to engage.

Left-brain/right-brain theory suggests words and information reside in the left hemisphere of the brain, associated with logic and rational thinking. Sometimes called the “emotional brain,” the right hemisphere is home to pictures, feelings, and her sense of identity. And we know buyers buy on emotion and subsequently justify those purchase decisions rationally. I’m an avid reader of Motor Trend. Many of the car ads are predictable – a beauty shot of the automobile, some text… Would anyone really notice if you were to swap out the photo of the car and the manufacturer ID? However, Volkswagen’s ad for their parking assist was different:Volkswagen ad

This Volkswagen ad doesn’t even show the product! Rather, it addresses a feature (Park Assist), implies the benefit (making parallel parking safe and easy), and is emotional (humorous).

Okay, your turn. Much home builder advertising seems almost “templated,” focused on a beautiful photo of the home (exterior or interior), informative text meant to differentiate, and company identification. The beauty photo might attract attention, but is the ad memorable and engaging?

Alternatively consider:

Main visual: Worried, wide-eyed 8-year old. Headline: “Mom, have you seen my _____?”  Secondary visual: The lockers/cubbies in the rear foyer of your home. Secondary Rear foyer bench, cubbiestext: Cubbies/lockers provide organization, helping get everyone out the door on time in the morning.

Main visual: Woman wrapped in towel, smiling, standing in entry to door-less walk-in shower, holding squeegee. Headline: No door to clean! Secondary visual: Bathroom layout illustrating walk-in shower. Secondary text: Giving you back a little more time.

Main visual: Baby napping. Headline: Another reason to chose the “Serenity Package.” Secondary text: Peace and quiet is a beautiful thing. You’ll never regret opting for the Serenity Package with (highlight a few of the product upgrades included, such as quiet appliances, bath fans, garage door opener, etc.).

Main visual: Adorable, muddy dog staring up at you. Secondary visual: Your home’s optional pet center. Text: Appreciating everyone in your household.

Each of the above examples delivers on one of home buyer’s most-desired benefits – reducing stress. While most builders touting “quality-built,” “industry-leader,” and “customer-focused,” are essentially wasting their advertising dollars (what builder doesn’t say those things?). Ads focused on the concepts and benefits customers seek, without the overused exterior/interior beauty photos are emotional, engaging, and drive decision making!

In addition to innovative home plans, Design Basics can help you develop compelling ads that work. Let’s talk!

What Does Green Mean For You?

As a Nation, We Can Do Better

building green headerAccording to the U.S. EPA, the average home creates more pollution than the average automobile. It’s not surprising there is increasing interest in building environmentally responsible homes, and today it is possible to build “green” without sacrificing aesthetics or livability.

Following is a brief introduction to various aspects of building an environmentally-friendly home and links to helpful articles. Currently, there are several green building initiatives, but it appears consolidation is happening around the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Program. For more information, visit

Reduced Energy Consumption

Perhaps the largest environmental impact is achieved by choosing to build an energy-efficient home. Better insulation, windows and doors can help you create a “tighter” home, reducing air leakage in and out of your home. Similarly, energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling equipment, water heating and appliances can significantly cut energy use. By building your home highly energy efficient, you can help conserve natural resources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen oxides) by thousands of pounds per year.

Homes designed with windows on two sides of rooms increase natural light levels and can reduce the need to turn lights on. Opening those windows ushers in natural cross ventilation, lowering dependence on air conditioning. Large covered porches provide relaxation and considerable shading, too.

Reducing energy consumption may also be one of your best performing investments. Often, spending a few dollars more per month in a tax-deductible mortgage payment can be more than offset by lower utility bills. And as energy costs continue to rise, your future savings will be even greater.

Resource-Efficient Product Choices

Choosing to build a home with engineered wood (e.g., I-joist floors, trusses, etc.) from managed forests instead of traditional lumber saves old-growth forests from being harvested. More durable products, such as siding and roofing backed by a 50-year warranty are also environmentally responsible, as they won’t end up in the landfill nearly as quickly as their traditional counterparts. Paying attention to product content is another important factor. Carpeting made from recycled plastic water/soda bottles is one example.

Homes can be designed around standard building material sizes to maximize efficiency. Carpeting often comes in 15’-wide rolls, so designing a family room to be 15’-6” wide means seaming two pieces of carpet together and often generates waste. Streamlined structural systems require fewer steel beams, structural headers, etc.

Water Conservation

A water-saving dishwasher can reduce water consumption enough to provide all of a household’s drinking water. Some clothes washers save enough hot water to accommodate your bathing needs. Water-efficient toilets and showerheads will make a big difference and “home-run”-type plumbing systems can deliver hot water faster, helping you avoid wasting gallons of water waiting for the shower to “warm up.” Another important consideration is landscaping. Choosing native and drought-resistant grasses and plantings can minimize water used for lawn irrigation.

Minimizing the negative impact homes have on the environment is critical. While home plans themselves are not necessarily ‘Green’, simple choices in the home’s design and selection of environment-friendly home products can make a huge, positive impact.


building green page

Building Green

Green building can improve indoor air quality, an issue of particular concern to women because of its link to asthma and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) in children as well as heart and lung problems, headaches, and blurred vision.

Read the article…

building green page

Life at Home
The Paybacks of Energy Efficiency

Totaling up the costs of building a new home can be intimidating. For most of us, it’s one of the most expensive things we will do in our lifetime. Consequently, it’s often necessary to scale back some dreams and make compromises along the way. But one of the places it’s important not to cut corners is energy efficiency.

Read the article

More Articles on Aspects of Green Home Building

tame your utilities

Tame Your Utilities

When you’re thinking about building a new home, the location of the plumbing, heating, and cooling systems probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. Or the second. But if easier maintenance, greater comfort, and lower energy bills sound appealing.

It’s worth giving some thought to where these systems go and how you’ll gain access to them.

Read the Article

silence is golden article

Silence is Golden

Your home is a factory. It has all the equipment and processes of almost any factory: fans, blowers, pumps, cleaning and laundering, waste disposal, heating and cooling, refrigeration, even accounting.

Unlike a factory, your home should also be designed to provide a calm, livable environment – one that maximizes comfort and minimizes intrusions, both from the outside world and from within the home.

Read the Article

breathe easier article

Plan Now to Breathe Easier Later

If you’re like most who plan to build a new home, you probably have specific ideas of what you’re looking for in an elevation, floor plan, amenities and even color schemes. But have you considered choices you can make now to ensure healthier air quality in your future home?

Read the Article


National Association of Home Builders National –

American Lung Association – Health House

Developer Services

Developer Services

Have you taken advantage of our many services we offer for developers? If not, now is the time to check it out!

Home Design

  • We offer over 2500 plans in our library!
  • Multi-elevation plan sets — a core plan with different elevation styles saves time and money.
  • Custom home design.
  • Plan alterations.
  • Promotional artwork — market the plan before purchasing the full construction set.

Marketing Materials

  • Streetscapes
  • Plat maps
  • Community logos
  • Community signage
  • Amenities artwork
  • Billboards
  • Lot Markers

Builder Programs

  • Builder-Centric℠ Preferred Builder Program — receive discounts and materials to help you sell more homes.
  • Woman-Centric Matters!® Builder Program — recognizing the importance of women’s preferences in the home.

Learn more with our Developer Services program, and contact us today!

Cooking without Grease Odor

Cooking without Grease Odor

From the company that pioneered mixing cutting edge design with innovative range hood technology, comes a new idea in stress-free cooking. Elica’s NikolaTesla induction cooktop is designed to make cooking and clean-up a hassle-free process. Elica incorporated the standard, highly desirable qualities of an induction cooktop such as rapid boil and easy cleaning, and took it one step farther by integrating a fully functional range hood into the cooktop itself. The central fan replaces the typical range hood and gathers grease and odors without compromising design. It also has a built-in double bridge function that combines two adjacent cooking zones to adjust for large pots. A 10-speed touch pad control system allows you to easily control the fan, so all you have to worry about is answering the doorbell!

Learn more about Elica NikolaTelsa induction cooktop, and other Elica products.

(Note: Product spotlights are for informational purposes only; we do not formally endorse any product or service.)


What’s Your New Home Personality?

What’s Your New Home Personality?

Would you guess that your taste in jewelry…flowers…or travel could also predict your preferences in your home’s design, style and even product choices?

As the Woman-Centric Matters!® team at Design Basics has identified, women tend to exhibit one of four primary home buyer personalities. And it’s amazing just how much of our core personality is reflected in our homes! Once you’ve identified your strongest personality type, you, your builder, or your remodeling contractor can focus on things that will likely be very meaningful to you and avoid wasting time with things that probably aren’t very important.

Let’s meet the buyers:


Margo is the name given by Design Basics to women whose style tends to be modern. In Margo’s home you’re likely to see clean lines, interesting geometric shapes, and a penchant for new and unconventional. From products such as faucets and lighting, to flooring, cabinets and counter tops, “contemporary” is Margo’s inclination. Margo also tends to work—a lot—and appreciates innovative solutions for working at home.


Elise is traditional, in every sense of the word. Traditional architecture, proven products, and comfortable furnishings. Elise’s family is at the center of everything. Family Photos and memorabilia, are displayed proudly, alongside Grandma’s hutch. Elise looks for value in practical room arrangements and dependable, long lasting products. There’s just no place she would rather be than home!


Claire’s home is sophisticated. It is obvious when looking at Claire’s home that someone paid close attention to detail. Outside, Claire’s landscaping compliments her home’s exterior. Inside, Claire’s home is superbly coordinated. Claire has an eye for quality and is very knowledgeable about products and design. Claire is a natural-born planner, and has a vision of what she wants to achieve.


Maggie is casual…and eclectic. Maggie tends to be passionately involved in life—her interests, hobbies, projects and activities will often dictate how her home “lives.” Maggie thrives on flexible spaces for her and her family’s varied interests. Entertaining revolves around FUN at Maggie’s home, so Space for games and media is a high priority, as is anything low-maintenance that gives her back a little more time.

So, what do flowers, jewelry and vacations have to do with her home? It appears that our core personalities are evidenced in numerous facets of our lives. In fact, not looking at square footage, bedroom locations or the number of baths just might yield some of the most revealing discoveries in your pursuit of the perfect home!

What’s Your Personality Type?

My favorite flower group is closest to:

A. Daisy/tulip

B. Hydrangea/iris

C. Bird of paradise/calla lily

D. Rose/Carnation

Which of the following wedding rings would you likely wear?





What type of 3-Day Trip Interests You Most?

A. Theme Park (Disney World or Six Flags)

B. Hotel Stay and Play (golf, spa, water sports)

C. Theatre package (NY or Chicago)

D. Cruise (Caribbean, Alaskan)

Now, see which profile your answers match!

This is just a sampling of the 16-question Finally About Me® Quiz. Don’t be concerned if you didn’t answer all three questions with the same letter. That’s okay, because when taking the full Finally About Me quiz your strongest personality profile will be revealed. It’s a great time saver, as you will be able to more quickly focus on what interests you and not waste time on design, amenity or product issues which likely aren’t important to you at all.

If you’re closest to Margo, you probably want your home to be unique. Your home will be full of items that make you feel good. Everywhere you look in your home, you’ll like what you see! From cutting-edge home design to innovative products and unique finishing touches, you want a home with great style.

Are you an Elise? “Light, bright and airy” well describe your new home’s comfortable, uncluttered appearance. Elise homes seem to say “Welcome, we’re glad you’re here!” And, just as your home can’t have too much storage space, it’s also a much-needed respite from stress, because Elise’s home is her haven. Is Claire most similar to your personality? For you, creating a wonderful home is like creating a wonderful, accessorized wardrobe. It’s all about your life and your style. It will be well-thought-out. For example, storage can be beautiful, but organization is a nonnegotiable.

Claire’s home is a showcase, or is in the process of becoming one. And if you feel a kinship to Maggie, you want a home that caters to your lifestyle, enhancing everything you do. Fun, functional and flexible are the hallmarks of your home. Whether it’s movie night, a scrap booking party or the big game, casual entertaining and spur-of-the-moment get-togethers are commonplace because Maggie’s home is carefree.

Our homes and the products in the homes are all public expressions of ourselves. You already know Her Home Magazine was founded on the premise of empowering women to make wise, informed decisions regarding their homes. The personality profiles, and the insights that can be gleaned from them, fit that premise beautifully!

Finally About Me® Resources

Finally About Me® – As the Woman-Centric Matters!® team at Design Basics has identified, women tend to exhibit one of four primary home buyer personalities. And it’s amazing just how much of our core personality is reflected in our homes!

Finally About Me® Quiz – TAKE THE QUIZ! What’s Your New Home Personality? Would you guess that your taste in jewelry, flowers, or travel could also predict your preferences in your home’s design styles and even product choices?

Finally About Me® Profiles – So you are a Maggie or a Claire, or a Margo or Elise. Learn more about your new home personality!

“A Home That’s Truly Your” From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires.

“Design reveals Desires” From the myriad choices available, the specific selections you make when you are remodeling or building a new home reveal a lot about you, your values and desires.

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