The Town & Country brand has been a mainstay in mid-Willamette Valley realty since 1951. Upon purchasing the company, the new owners knew they wanted to refresh the firm’s branding and messaging. The challenge was to do so while still maintaining the company’s unmistakable legacy in the community. Town & Country enlisted the help of MAC to complete their brand remodel.
With two thriving offices in Corvallis and Albany, Oregon, Town & Country Realty is a trusted local real estate leader. Though the firm has a strong reputation within the community, the branding has not seen an upgrade in decades. Co-owners Lisa Marie Boyd and Catherine Fisher felt that Town & Country’s 70th anniversary was the perfect opportunity to reveal their brand refresh.
One of the main challenges we faced with rebranding was the possibility of losing brand equity; the old logo had become trusted and recognizable within the community. It was essential to maintain key components within the new branding. Lisa Marie and Catherine described the symbolism behind the iconic ampersand in a recent announcement:
Why an ampersand? Because we serve Linn AND Benton Counties, we help buyers AND sellers, we believe in home being a house AND the community. We provide service AND integrity. We love the symbolism, and you will see it throughout our brand.
An additional challenge was cohesion within the company. It was important to offer several branding element options to the brokers, who are independent contractors.
The primary objective was to ensure that the new Town & Country logo did not overly deviate from the original depiction. Lisa Marie and Catherine both felt it was vital to maintain the brand’s familiarity while giving the elements a modernized upgrade. The real estate agency already had a long-standing legacy within the community; therefore, they did not wish to sacrifice the existing brand recognizability and trust.
Additionally, brand tools to accommodate various mediums and collateral materials would be essential to the real estate business’s nature. Given the number of independent brokers working within the firm, it was critical to create a comprehensive brand book with design options.
Regarding messaging, Town & Country wanted to differentiate itself from other real estate agencies in the area. It was essential to confirm the realty firm’s long-standing reputation and professionalism. As Lisa Marie firmly resolved, “We want our clients to know that we plan to be here for another 70 years.”
“When deciding on who should help us with rebranding a nearly 70 year-old company with deep roots to the local community, we needed a company who could understand us and match us. Immediately, it became clear that Madison Ave. Collective was the perfect match.”
— Catherine Fisher, Managing Principal Broker/Owner
To begin the Discovery phase, our team completed an extensive audit of the current (now previous) brand and marketing. By working closely with Town & Country’s leadership team, we determined which existing elements were valuable to the brand’s integrity. The ampersand and concept of “coming home” were particularly symbolic; therefore, they became the new branding foundation.
Competitive analysis was a substantial part of the discovery, as Town & Country aimed to set themselves apart from other firms in the area. We executed an evaluation of four primary competitors. Additionally, we interviewed Town & Country staff, brokers, and members of the local community. The information collected was critical to establishing Town & Country’s strong reputation and retaining it through the new branding and messaging.
Based on our findings, we created curated mood boards, logo concepts, and brand application designs before finalizing a comprehensive brand book composed of all brand elements.
We simultaneously developed core messaging, elevator pitches, and additional messaging elements to portray Town & Country’s values and strengths. Considering the company’s separate target audiences, we created messaging statements for three distinct groups.
In the weeks leading up to the official reveal date, Lisa Marie noted that the Town & Country team became increasingly enthusiastic. “I’ve never seen a rollout so smooth,” she says. “When a rollout goes this smooth, everyone gets behind it, and the energy behind this has been amazing.” The brand refresh unveiling was well-received by both the realty team and the public.
As consistent with the initial request to maintain its recognizable look, the Town & Country logo underwent strategic, modern modifications. We retained the familiar yellow color used in the previous branding in addition to the iconic ampersand. Lisa Marie was thrilled with the results, stating: “They found a way to modernize our logo and our messaging yet maintained the history and legacy that makes our firm stand out.”
The comprehensive brand book allows Town & Country to maintain cohesion within the brand while providing each broker the flexibility with their own marketing.
MAC developed a fresh tagline for the agency to convey the original concept of coming home: “Your mid-valley real estate expert since 1951. Welcome home.” We are pleased that Town & Country’s staff and brokers feel at home in their new branding.
Town & Country’s new logo is a 2020 American Graphic Design Awards recipient, recognized for being among the top 10% of entries nationally.
As a firm, we are incredibly proud of the completed branding. I personally loved working with the entire team at MAC. They were efficient, honest, and offered insights we would not have considered.
Town & Country’s logo was recognizable within the community but lacked the modern, professional feel that the new owners desired. They sought a brand refresh that allowed the company to retain its legacy while giving it a fresh image. Through in-depth research and strategic design, MAC modernized the messaging and branding for this iconic real estate firm.
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