Does your fractional website offer a compelling marketing statement? Does it capture visitors’ attention and entice them to remain longer than a few seconds on your site? Is the message you have now as enticing as that of your competitors?
Part 1 of this post stated that the vast majority of fractional websites either lack a market positioning statement or lack a compelling one. An effective statement lets site visitors know clearly, immediately and powerfully that you understand their vacation needs and can offer satisfactory solutions to them.
If your website does not clearly communicate the benefits you offer, this is a missed opportunity to convert more visitors into leads and to gain market share from your competitors.
Examples of Internet Market Positioning Statements
Following are some market positioning statements of various shared ownership properties that the author has found recently, mostly on the internet.
Buying Motive: Pride of ownership
- Your Piece of the Cape
- Your London Residence
- Own a piece of San Francisco
- Own a Little Piece of Paradise
The statements above appeal to pride of ownership. These generic slogans could fit almost any property. They aren’t special enough to catch the short attention span of internet surfers and fail to convey the uniqueness of the property. Also, these statements immediately encourage the reader to own the property—right from the get-go—with no warm-up. (This is as inappropriate as proposing marriage on a first date.)
Such a “hard sell” in these days of “soft” relationship selling is less effective than demonstrating to prospective buyers that you understand their vacation related-problems (too expensive, too many hassles, etc.) and that your property can offer solutions to these problems.
The marketing messages above may resonate with people who are already familiar with the destination. But what about people who haven’t visited yet? What’s in it for them, if they owned?
These slogans can be kicked up a notch if made more specific, include more emotional appeal, have a bit of a tease to pique curiosity and offer specific benefits to the buyers.
Marketing Message Makeovers
Here, the messages above are redone so they attract more attention by addressing readers directly and pointing out to them the benefits the property offers.
- Your Limited Opportunity to Own Property on the Cape at far less than you’d ever dream possible
- Imagine Owning Part of a London Residence Where Your Every Wish Is Your Staff’s Command
- Left Your Heart in San Francisco? Here’s Your Rare Opportunity to Own a Prime Hotel Residence in the Heart of Town
- At last! You Can Own Your Vacation Home in Paradise for Much Less Than You Could Ever Imagine
Buying Motive: Appeal to Price
The following marketing statements that present the fractional value proposition are serviceable, but not unique. They can be applied to many properties. Also, the statements don’t indicate what audience they are addressing
- Own a beautiful Mexican casita at a fraction of the price
- The Smart Way to Own a Mountain Home
Marketing Messages Make-Over
- Experience unforgettable family vacations at a fraction of the price in your beautiful Mexican casita
- The smart way to reconnect with your family in your own Rocky Mountain getaway
These messages appeal more to buyers’ emotions by mentioning the pleasures they will have on vacations with their family.
Buying Motive: Appeal to Convenience
- Enjoy Effortless Vacation Ownership
Hassle-free vacations are a primary reason people choose fractional ownership. The statement above is serviceable, but could have more impact if it were more specific.
Marketing Message Make-Over
- Spend your precious vacation time relaxing with your family while your concierge handles all the details for you.
Following are several of the author’s favorite market positioning statements:
The following statements are more original than the average and convey some of the emotional vacation benefits they offer owners. They provide good starting points for expanding the concept in copy and images.
Buying Motive: Emotional Appeal to Family and Lifestyle Values
“Florence owns your heart. Now own the heart of Florence.” –Palazzo Tornabuoni, Florence, Italy
“There’s no place like together.” –Exclusive Resorts Destination Club
“Where moments become memories” –Ritz-Carleton Destination Club
“Are you dreaming of owning your very own Parisian pied-a-terre?” –Co-Investir, Paris
“Fine wine, fine food, fine homes”–Vintner’s Club, France
“The Algarve’s Premier 5-Star Resort & Spa
Exclusive, secluded, secure“
—Carvaeiro, Algarve, Portugal
“Life’s short. Live Better.” –Aviawest, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
“Discover the dream of the good life.”
“Escape everyday life.”
“Discover new treasures.”
“Recharge your batteries.”
“Free your spirit.”
“Seek new adventures.”
“Indulge your soul.”
“Share new adventures.”
“Capture special memories.”
–Each title illustrates a different slide, Aviawest, B.C., Canada
The next and final category of market positioning statements may be part of a new trend to emphasize the investment value of a vacation home in addition to traditional lifestyle and family benefits.
Buying Motives: Appeal Both to Investment and to Family Benefits
“Turning Sound Investments into Treasured Legacies” –Front Four at Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe, Vermont
“Appreciating Luxury Residences” –Equity Estates Fund, Atlanta, Georgia
Some practical tips for crafting your market positioning statement
- Your slogan doesn’t have to be short. Sometimes you need more than a few words to convey your message.
- Be sure to appeal both to the reason and emotions of your audience.
- Name specifically the audience you want to attract—i.e., Bostonians; skiers, golfers.,etc.; grandparents; families, couples without children; residents of the city or country from where you draw visitors (or show pictures of your desired clientele)
- Stress the lifestyle and family benefits that vacationers receive, not just what the real estate is.
- Location, Location, Location! If your location is a good one, emphasize how near you are to the major attractions of the city or resort, but include emotional benefits also, such as convenience, more vacationing and less traveling.
- Speak directly to your audience using “you and “your.” Assume your audience already owns the property.
- Avoid the words “luxury,” “luxurious” and “world-class.” Overuse has made these words nearly meaningless.
- Avoid claiming you’re the “best,” even if this is true. It’s enough to prove that you’re “very good,” Your “rave reviews” are most effectively presented on your site as video, recorded or written testimonials from your buyers.
- The more different motives you can artfully and successfully combine in your message, the more likely it will be to spark interest in your readers. Different people have different reasons to purchase. One size doesn’t fit all.
Once you have created your market positioning statement, don’t leave home without it!
In addition to using it on your website, use your message proudly and prominently beneath your logo on all marketing materials: brochures; flyers; take-ones; stationery; memo pads; logo wear and gifts; online and offline advertising; business cards; and, especially, in all email signatures. (Absence of a positioning statement in an email signature is a missed opportunity. It costs nothing to use.)
Investing a just bit of extra thought and effort in creating your unique market positioning statement can help your company reap abundant returns on its investment of precious marketing resources. Why wait for your competitors to seize this advantage?
Does your property have a successful market positioning statement? Please share it with your fellow readers.
Does your market positioning statement need a makeover? Submit it along with your URL to our site. The first five statements received will receive a complimentary makeover. Names will not be identified.
Please respond in the space below.
David M. Disick, Esq. is president of The Fractional Consultant. He serves clients both in the United States and abroad. Read more ideas in his book, Fractional Vacation Homes: Marketing and Sales in Challenging Times.” The book’s market positioning statement is: “Helping developers attract more customers, close more sales and earn more profits.” The book can be ordered from his website: http://www.TheFractionalConsultant.com.