PodcastConsumer and Home Design TrendsNational Housing Market Outlook

Harnessing Brand Power: Taylor Morrison’s Marketing Dexterity

Dean Wehrli

Dean Wehrli

February 6, 2024

The concept of “brand” can be a bit vague. At its core, it is a service or product that some part of the public can identify as uniquely yours. It is what you do, what you provide. It sets you apart, and people want it. Think Apple and iPhones; think Lululemon and translucent leggings. Or think Google and mapping software that lets you know there’s a Starbucks on the street where you are about to turn right. (Hey, Google, there is always a Starbucks at the corner. You’re not helping.)

Taylor Morrison is one of the biggest home builders in the nation. A few years ago, they wanted to refine their brand. Stephanie McCarty is Taylor Morrison’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. CEO Sheryl Palmer tapped Stephanie a few years ago to refine and modernize the builder’s brand. Stephanie’s mission is to ensure home shoppers know what they can expect when considering a Taylor Morrison home. 

On this episode of the New Home Insights podcast, I talk brand with Stephanie, and tons more. We get into buyer segments and market niches, media usage and strategies, data analytics and market research, and online and in-person sales strategies.

Featured guest

Stephanie McCarty, Chief Marketing Officer, Taylor Morrison

It all starts with the brand

  • Taylor Morrison was growing. The builder needed to figure out its brand and make it cohesive and universal. Stephanie and the marketing team re-invented the Taylor Morrison brand and presented a cohesive message.

  • After you have formed the brand, you need to protect it. The company’s marketing efforts are integrated to keep quality consistently high. In this business, you have to speak with one voice, but you also have to speak with a human voice.

  • This is not to say that everything is one size fits all. Taylor Morrison’s local divisions sweep across the “Smile States” in diverse locales. The company empowers its local leaders to bring their expertise to bear within their spaces. They are, after all, those closest to their buyers.

Some words to live by

  • Sales and marketing usually get grouped, but they are very different things. Taylor Morrison appreciates the different skill sets needed within those disciplines and how each can enhance the effectiveness of the other.

  • Sales and marketing start at the beginning. That is, the best practice is to have the folks who will sell a product in at the inception of the conception of that product.

  • You need to have good market intelligence. Understanding the world in which you seek to sell is critical. These two factors—early involvement and market intelligence—can help you avoid or at least mitigate setbacks.

  • In the end, though, Stephanie does not see many silk purses made from sow’s ears (#superdatedreference). In other words, a great marketing effort is unlikely to rescue a poorly executed product.

It's all about the buyers

  • But let’s not forget that this whole exercise is to present something that buyers desire. Understanding what buyer segments want and how they want it is everything.

  • Marketing should be tailored to the audience: the media, the product, and the sales process.

  • Today’s buyers crave convenience and control. They are online and very savvy. You had better be as well.

  • Ultimately, you must give consumers what they want and how they want it, then execute. We can’t all be Apple and rely on a semi-captive audience that unquestioningly buys the latest iPhone version (just kidding, Tim). And, when you think you understand everything, you must understand that everything you know can change tomorrow.

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About The Author

Dean Wehrli
Dean Wehrli
Dean helps housing sector clients figure out not just what might work and what might not, but why.

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