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5 Trend Shifts Transforming New Housing Development Brands – The Why & How

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Today, new home development branding professionals are playing a very different ballgame than they were just a few short years ago. Since 2017, dramatic housing market fluctuations have been obliging branding experts to up their craft and design more attractive and effective logos and brand identities for clients demanding innovation.

As an “on-the-pulse” boutique design and marketing agency that keeps up with industry trends, we could not help but notice the needs of housing or new home developers, or home-purchasing owners and home-unit renters have shifted significantly in recent years. Our clients are asking for new kinds of branding concepts that represent a clean break with the past while illuminating a new exciting path to the future.

We’re happy to delve into the five main shifts we’ve observed in new development branding trends across detached student, multifamily, and senior home living markets within the last five years, so that you can better appreciate what the future will bring, regarding home unit offerings.

Branding: An Afterthought No Longer

Currently, our clients decidedly show near laser-light focus and attention to branding issues compared to a mere five years ago. Not only are they asking for more types of brand offerings, they are more careful about their selections, and are also making decisions earlier than ever before.

Before the health crisis struck in 2020, a boom of new developments was taking place in the market, amplifying competition in a manner that obligated property managers and developers to seek to differentiate themselves better from each other. The competition reached a point where even existing communities, in a bid to out-compete the new players on the scene, were ordering rebrands from branding design experts, who became busier than ever before.

In the two years since the global health crisis hit, clients continue to be decidedly more thoughtful about branding – consumers and brand marketers, alike, are appreciating this new trend that is spurring innovation in brand design. The trend among our clients is to be more mindful – they are requesting more human elements in new home development branding, despite demand for such units being significantly higher than the supply of the same, which explains current high, through-the-roof prices.

At present, brand creation typically evolves in tandem with the design of new developments and is increasingly harmonized by interior design and architectural accents. In recent years, branding consisted of a careful discovery and research process, heightened guidance from design and marketing experts, and the composition of well-detailed brand guideline materials to ensure a branding that is timelessly effective across several platforms.

Social Responsibility & Sustainability Are Here To Stay

Climate disruption, public health, and racial justice are top-of-mind topics of conversation these days in America, prompting buyers and renters to select their new homes on the basis of these hot-button issues. Developers are sensitive and mindful of these concerns and are directly working to address these in the design and construction of new housing development projects.

Millennial and Generation Z renters and buyers, in particular, consider green living, social responsibility, and inclusive marketing to be vital factors in assessing whether a branded property is to their taste or not. To what degree a new development brand is socially conscious has become an important factor in their home living choices. Here to stay, this trend may change the new development market from the inside-out, and last for several generations.

New housing developments are responding to these new values by adopting names, colors, taglines, patterns, textures, and brand voices that ring with themes of sustainability, responsibility, inclusion and cleanliness. In response, for example, brand designers are implementing blues and greens in brand colors or adding Nature elements like animals and plants into their logos, in order to attract environmentally conscious buyers and renters.

Current Generation Z Sensibilities In The Student Housing Market

With an eye to the future, as Generation Zers fully come into their own, it’s important to note so far what their current priorities are in evaluating properties. As current renters of student housing, with the oldest Generation Zers about twenty-four years old, this youth segment is requesting a well-crafted social media presence, tech amenities, affordability, and sustainability, of housing owners, significantly more than a while ago when the Millennials were attending college.

The messages you see today in the branding of student housing consist of “an option for all” rather than “high-end living” or “exclusive amenities.” Although deluxe student housing is still appearing on the market, the branding of these developments emphasizes themes of attainability and inclusion to captivate the attention of Generation Zers who have been feeling the bitter pinch of economic recession and low public funding for college tuition, ever since they came of age.

Multifamily Housing Brands Are Sensitive To Millennial Sensibilities

Although the oldest Generation Zers are just now beginning to buy and rent in multifamily communities, the biggest collection of multifamily buyers and renters is still the Millennials. So many of these young people in their 20s and 30s are launching new careers (frequently changing jobs every two years or so), starting new families, and carrying significant student loan debt, which is making economical housing, family-friendly amenities, spacious units, and remote-work opportunities more appealing than ever.

As a result, multifamily developments are emphasizing how their home units support the families, careers, and physical health of residents while promising significant overall value. It’s all about lifestyle and quality of life. However, what needs to be understood is that Millenials have palpably different definitions of lifestyle and quality of life, compared to the older generations.

Developers are currently building luxury multifamily housing where the feel of the deluxe is conveyed by more spacious interiors, remote-worker conveniences, high-tech fitness facilities, and easy-and-convenient home life perks like house cleaning services, pet grooming, and other services that are popular across all segments of the population.

The “Active Adult” Housing Boom Is Changing Senior Living Brands

In the past, when we thought of senior living, the visual of Memory Care facilities, Assisted Living, and Independent Living facilities came to mind, but this no longer holds true. Today, new senior living developments aim to be “Active Adult” communities rather than dowdy “retirement homes.” The Active Adult trend is attractive to older Generation Xers and Boomers who are ready to scale down their lives as they retire or experience empty nest syndrome — “slowing down,” they are pronouncing, is simply not an option.

These generations of senior citizens are changing common understandings of the word “old,” overturning limiting stereotypes, and calling for better housing options that cater to a myriad of activities centered on body and mind exercises, and endorphin-boosting hobbies. We’re in the midst of an Active Adult boom in the senior living sector, as those retired or retiring prioritize themes of activity, adventure, discovery, and connectedness in new development branding. These active seniors seek to live life to the fullest with desires akin to those of the Millenials, that is, owning smart homes, having amenities and conveniences, etc.

Our Verdict

New development branding trends are decidedly greener, more socially conscious, and more active than ever before — the Future has arrived, and the overall goal of developers and home buyers/renters in America is to make it as inclusive, peaceful and Nature-preserving as possible. The leap towards an optimistic, inclusive, and socially conscious society, where sustainability is paramount, begins with a single step — the choice of home: it is clear this is weighing on the minds of many home-shopping Americans today.

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