In this day of interconnected data and dialogue via the internet, where a single consumer story can turn the trajectory of a brand’s success to failure, it has never been more important to establish interactions and understanding with consumers. When it comes to the home they buy, consumers have a lot to say and National believes it’s our job to listen and act.
After decades of growth, real estate is grappling with rare tough times; affordability issues, government regulations, mortgage changes, land supply shortage, urban planning directives, technological upheavals and building cost increases. It becomes clear that customer satisfaction has never been more necessary for survival.
At National, our company slogan is “You are the Blueprint” because National designs, builds, markets and sells homes based entirely on our understanding of clients’ needs. National Homes believes that the needs of the customer should be the driving force behind every home we build. This promise underpins all of National’s communications and marketing initiatives, and inspired us to create a new and experiential event, The Blueprint Workshop.
Having employed traditional focus group and online survey methodologies for 20 years, our drive in creating the Blueprint Workshop was to find a new way to engage participants far beyond the standard notions. Our vision was to revolutionize the way new home consumer research is accomplished thereby raising the bar for innovative thinking around home design, with a particular focus on the fast-developing ‘smart home’ connectivity technology of the future.
Our inaugural “Blueprint Workshop” event was held at the IBM Innovation Space, welcoming over 70 globally recognized leaders in the fields of technology, product development, design, group interactions and the co-creation process; dozens of past and potential National buyers of varied ages and demographics; National staff architects, designers and engineers; and students from York University’s Schulich School of Business real estate master’s program. The group took part in deep discussions, presentations, interviews and educational sessions, all in a THINKTANK format.
Many groundbreaking ideas from that first Blueprint Workshop are already working their way into homes in new National communities, and additional Blueprint Workshops are in the works. By looking to design a new dialogue through a process of co-creation, National is expanding possibilities in design and improving the experience of living in a home.