STAR TREK REBORN – a lesson for the homebuilding industry

star_trek_The new Star Trek movie opened Thursday night.  My kids were at the opening screening that night at the IMAX Theater in Boston but my wife and I did not see the film until Saturday.  If you will excuse a few plot weaknesses and some other minor issues, it is quite possibly the best Star Trek movie ever, certainly the best in the last 20 years and one of the best movies so far this year in any genre.  The highest praise for the film I have yet heard came from my wife who, after we were leaving the theater, said simply “I would see it again”.

I admit that I am a “trekkie”.  Star Trek (the original series) debuted in the United States on NBC on September 8, 1966 and I was hooked for life.  Although the special effects were cheesy, the plots thin and the characters incomplete (I do not think that William Shatner really came into his own until assuming the role of Denny Crane on Boston Legal, for which he deservedly won two Emmy Awards and a Golden Globe Award), I began a fandom which continues today. 

My favorite of all of the TV series in the Star Trek franchise probably is “The Next Generation” (1987–1994) followed by “Voyager” (1995–2001).  I guess that Captains Jean-Luc Picard (Patrick Stewart) and Kathryn Janeway (Kate Mulgrew) and their crews just clicked with me.  “Enterprise” (2001-2205) was OK, amusing at times, but I really never connected with “Deep Space Nine” although I managed to watch every episode.  And, of course, I saw every Star Trek film.  But it all started with the original television show 43 years ago.

And that brings us to the point of this blog.  The newest Star Trek film has reinvigorated, revitalized and re-branded an old and, some would say, stale concept.  They have made it appropriate, relevant and viable for and attractive to whole new generations of audiences thereby insuring ongoing financial success.  Matthew De Abaitua writes in his film review that it is “A masterclass in how to rebrand and relaunch a franchise” (

So I am recommending this film to everyone working in every aspect of the new home business – builders, developers, architects, land planners, lenders, subcontractors, sales and marketing people and consultants.  Watch the film as an example of re-branding and revitalizing an image and then let’s all put those concepts to work in our own businesses. 

Recent statistics suggest that the largest segment of new home purchasers today is first-time buyers and that trend will probably continue for some time.  How many of our web sites are directed to that younger, “hipper” market?  How many of us are concentrating our advertising and promotion in web-based activities which is where we will reach those younger buyers – not just pay per click ads on Google but by adding web concierges and utilizing social media outlets, blogs, “tweets”, etc.? 

How many builders have produced the brand-new home designs that are “sized- right”, priced right and truly attractive to and exciting for the younger markets?  How many have included the technology and other features that these buyers have become familiar with and not only want but require?

How many builders have created brochures that are graphically and verbally “tuned” to these markets?  Do the model homes reach the younger markets and reflect their tastes and lifestyles?  How about something as simple as the corporate brand name and logo – are they fresh and properly targeted?  Have we correctly named and graphically identified our communities, product lines and models with the words and images with which these buyers will identify in a positive manner?  And how about something as simple as street names – does this new group of purchasers really wish to live on a street that sounds as if it came from Mayberry R.F.D.? 

I would suggest that all of us would profit greatly from a complete “tune-up” and revitalization of all aspects of our brand so that, we too, have insured our ongoing financial success.

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