A Picture’s worth a thousand words, but it’s all in how we say it


This photo, taken in 1972, remains one of the most requested documents from the National Archive after almost four decades. And, at the Richard Nixon Library gift store, merchandise with the famous image are the most popular items. Elvis would have been 72 earlier this month and the world knows him as nothing less than one of the first international brands. In the last fifty years branding itself has become art/science/academic with rules and strategies for acheiving and maintaining the personality of your brand.

So what does Elvis, a personality power brand, have to do with San Francisco real estate? I’ve recently had conversations with Katherine Webster who runs www.southbeachmissionbay.com where she has a wonderful story on the history of the area. We were comiserating about how alike all the web sites of the new buildings going up nearby on Rincon Hill look. Where is the story telling, the personalities of these buildings are bland and brandless as expressed online. A little music, photos, computer graphics and then grocery lists of amenities, appliance brands, floor plans. Can’t we see a little more Elvis-like hip action?

I actually like the music and line drawings of One Rincon Hill … but then that stops and you go to a listing of, you guessed it, appliances, floor layouts, amenities. You can link to all the building sites on the list below to see for yourself. The Infinity is particularly horrible. Our developers are in the dark ages, so 2004, of web marketing at this point. Certainly *The Donald* gets the Elvis-ness of branding, attaching that to his buildings. But we have no Donald, for now, in San Francisco. Take a look and let me know if I’m wrong.

The inspiration for this post is all about this little challenge.


8 responses to “A Picture’s worth a thousand words, but it’s all in how we say it

  1. Dear Condo Contessa,

    After viewing the virtual tour for “The Palms” I felt I had just watched a Lexus commercial with a heavy Barry White love theme. . . I agree with you it did not do much to enhance the image of the place but for some strange reason I felt like a cigarette afterwards.

  2. Hi Dean! Thanks for stopping by to read, and leaving me a chuckle with your comment. I’m actually excited about creating some neighborhood content with more personality about living in the ‘hood, and I’d love your feedback when I get that going.

  3. Condocontessa,

    I agree with you 100%; barely a mention of the world class location. In the case of The Palms, they have completely ignored the fantastic neighborhood. World Class hotels like the St. Regis, restaurants like Bacar, and Pac Bell Park home of the San Francisco Giants are all within shouting distance. It is the most vibrant and evolving neighborhood in San Francisco.

  4. Pingback: This Week’s Carnival of Real Estate

  5. I spent the day with Dean yesterday presenting a class on blogging in Marin. I, too, felt like a cigarette afterwards!
    Just kidding – Dean.
    Melanie – I, too, rose to the Elvis challenge. Have not read your blog before – I’ll take the tour now

  6. Thanks for stopping by John! I’m working to get Pat into our office for a blogging class.

  7. John you are killing me here! The blogging class was fun and the audience appreciative of your effort, my suggestions, and Pat’s experiences within the blogoshere. . .

    Melanie I hope we do get the opportunity to stop by your shop and meet your co-workers. Thanks for your support!

  8. I’m looking forward to seeing you two in KW SF Properties … let me know if you’ve been able to connect with our market center admin.

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