Understanding the marketplace and buyers for this new brand was vital to positioning it correctly. The homes Mr & Mrs Clarke sell are not your average properties, so we had a smaller audience to reach. By profiling the demographic and understanding patterns of migration for home buyers, we could build a conclusive picture of the main target markets.
We tapped into the zeitgeist of online-only agents, identifying a hole in the market for a hybrid agency that offered great customer service and attention to detail whilst having their shop front online only. This was the gap that Mr & Mrs Clarke were looking to fill, and our research was based around the kind of clients that this service attracts.
We wanted people to instantly connect with the Mr & Mrs Clarke brand. Whether through the website, printed materials or words, it was important for potential customers to be able to buy into the lifestyle and ethos of the business before beginning the process of buying a house with them. House sellers were the main target for the design, brand and marketing, so had to be comfortable with the brand and made to feel they could interact with it.
To build lasting brand awareness, the logo was vital to the brand recognition of Mr & Mrs Clarke. We wanted it to be modern yet classic – a mix of tradition with a hint of sophistication. We took inspiration from classic fashion and home magazines, and iconic styles of the past. For the logo, we used a striking, bold diamond symbol with soft rounded edges for a premium feel, and created a custom font for the logotype to convey scale, strength, prominence and professionalism.
The brand is called Mr & Mrs Clarke to show the husband and wife team behind the business, but neither person wanted to be its ‘face’. Therefore, we had to consider an alternative way of bringing personality and honesty to the brand. This was achieved by using imagery of the couple without ever showing their faces, creating a feeling of playfulness and allowing their properties to take the spotlight.
The aim of the new Mr & Mrs Clarke website was to elicit emotion to convert leads. As their key initial selling tool, it had to generate an emotive reaction within the viewer – as well as generate leads as it is the client’s only shop front.
The website was designed to be a hybrid of visual styles – incorporating the best-practice in website design with classic magazine styles such as Vogue or Monocle. This hybrid nature was designed to enhance the stylistic choice to write content with a strong narrative. We wanted to bring the focus on to the lifestyle of the home, rather than desensitise the home to just a property – a set of boxes to just exist in. As the viewer reads through the property we wanted to them to be able to imagine living in that home, creating a life for themselves in their head.
The design of the website is clear, light, and spacious, with the use of the monochrome palette and photographs of home interiors in neutral hues. Mr & Mrs Clarke’s key messages are featured on the home page against a backdrop of stunning images, showing the kind of homes they sell. Mr & Mrs Clarke each have a blog where they share their insight into the latest trends in estate agency, as well as tips for creating the perfect home, and news on views on their local area, as well as general musings. Altogether it is an inviting, aspirational site that encourages the viewer to think about the kind of lifestyle they want through the purchase of a new house.
“The Mr & Mrs Clarke brand has caused quite a stir in the estate agency world. Pixeldot have helped create a discerningly different brand that conveys quality in an industry that is often seen as old fashioned or cheesy. People love the website and the way it makes homes look like they are from interior magazines. The Pixeldot team are innovative, creative and caring. They are full of interesting and well thought-out ideas and they understood the brief. They were a pleasure to work with.” – Mr Paul Clarke MSc MNAEA
“Mr & Mrs Clarke asked us to help them change the way estate agency works and how it feels to the consumer − to create a more natural way of selling. They also wanted to create a process for selling homes that was more in tune with 21st century life. There were so many creative ideas we were able to bring to this project to really make it a stand-out in the market and attract the perfect clients.” – Luke Taylor, Pixeldot