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April 17, 2017

Lessons From a Candy Bar

What can we as designers, builders, and developers learn from a candy bar? As it turns out, a lot!

It has been over 8 years since Snickers started their campaign: “You’re not you when you’re hungry”. My favorite is the Brady Bunch one with “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia”. While fun and entertaining, the commercial is also the product of a stunningly effective marketing strategy that contributed to increasing volume sales into the double digits.


Stay with me! I promise I won’t make this a dry, drawn-out marketing lecture!

The lesson is shifting the conversation from the actual candy bar what it does for you – ie: make you feel more like YOU. In the home building industry, we all have a far greater potential to positively impact the lives of our buyers. It is why we created our Daily Lifestyle Solutions. Our goal was to create solutions to the outdated floor plans based on the way our parents or grandparents used to live. In light of rising construction costs, we all need an edge over lesser priced resale homes. We need powerful motivation tools to make folks want to buy your houses – beyond the standard “open concept”!

Perhaps the most powerful place to make a positive effect on buyers is the kitchen. Family buyers are often coming from small and dated kitchens. Is cooking therapeutic? Or is it a stressful balancing act of preparing the food in a cramped chore kitchen while darting into the other room to check on the kids, all the while not bumping into each other when someone wants to grab something out of the refrigerator?

Dig Deeper

Walk into any new or remodeled home, and it will likely feature upgraded cabinets and granite countertops. But how does it function? It isn’t until after moving in with all of their stuff that the homeowner becomes painfully aware of a lack of storage or an inconvenient layout. When someone is comparing your house with another:

  • Are you emphasizing how your kitchen welcomes multiple cooks at the same time?
  • How the Messy Kitchen keeps the clutter contained and out of sight?
  • Or how the Beverage Center frees up traffic around the island?
  • How about the massive Power Pantry to handle the Costco bulk shopping?
  • Are we demonstrating how the kitchen (and cooks) interacts with others in the home?

When I was raising my family, my home didn’t have today’s entertaining island, the Messy Kitchen or Beverage Center – but I sure wish it did! Many new homes have stunning kitchens, but too few of them are showcased properly to homeowners so they can fully appreciate their benefits.

Have a Plan

Make a list of all the new features you have to offer. Then, don’t just point out the features, but explain how the buyer will live differently and better in your home because of them. You’ve now transitioned from selling a product to selling a lifestyle or a solution. The buyer will start to envision their own routine and daily lives and how it can be improved in a new home. This positive impression sticks with them well beyond the housing tour.

As Snickers puts it, “You’re not you when you’re hungry.” You’re also not you when you’re in the wrong house. After years of the same routine, home buyers might not be acutely aware of their kitchen problem. They know their current home doesn’t work – that’s often why they’re shopping for a new house to begin with, but perhaps they can’t point out why. It is up to you to showcase what the home will do for them!


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This post was written by Housing Design Matters