Category Archives: Rincon Hill

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 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.