Assemble is a visionary housing developer well-known for pioneering the ‘Build to rent to own’ model. They approached us with a clear mission – to create a fairer, more affordable housing system that prioritised opportunities for ownership and greater access to quality homes. While their goals were clear, Assemble was uncertain about how to define their position as they added new asset classes to their housing portfolio.
We recognised that their powerful purpose required an equally powerful strategic vision to position Assemble as challengers of the housing affordability crisis.
Articulating fairer Futures
As part of their mission to create a better, fairer housing system, Assemble invented their ‘Build to rent to own’ (BTRTO) model. It became the defining feature of their brand, dubbed the ‘Assemble Model’ – designed to offer stable rents, certainty of tenure, community services and a pathway to homeownership that supports Australians with a moderate income. With a groundbreaking model, the challenge became educating their audience about how it worked.
Our first move was to clearly articulate the BTRTO model – clarifying how it works, why it exists, and who it’s for. Immediately, sales leads that would previously have been lost began to convert at a higher rate. We also renamed the model to ‘Assemble Futures’, allowing the Assemble master brand to fulfil its ambition of expanding into new areas of the property industry.
Declaring a vision
The reason Assemble exists is to provide fairer, more financially affordable and better-designed homes for Australians. We set out to capture their visionary status and revolutionary mindset in an idea that would define their place within their category, inspire their team and serve as a brand charter into the future – leading us to the core positioning ‘Homes for change’.
This positioning speaks to Assemble’s dedication to challenging all facets of the housing system to create places that embrace diversity, champion sustainability, reflect local culture and nurture a stronger sense of ownership and belonging. At its core, it means making homes more accessible to more people.
Enabling a flexible portfolio
To support this new positioning, we developed a brand architecture that provided flexibility to expand Assemble’s asset portfolio beyond Assemble Futures and into build-to-rent and build-to-sell developments. We created a bespoke hybrid approach to help them move from homogenous masterbrand developments to place-driven brand identities that differentiated projects based on their unique context.
A space of one’s own
A key creative challenge throughout this project was to make the Assemble brand more distinctive in a competitive environment – one that was converging on the visual and verbal language they pioneered. Thankfully, Assemble is a company that isn’t afraid to do things differently.
To create a brand identity that embodied Assemble’s radical spirit, we drew from the vernacular of vintage protest posters – taking particular inspiration from the collage-based style and political urgency of community-centric, grassroots campaigns. The new identity system reinforces their positioning through a striking visual language and provocative tone of voice that presents them as an agent of change across their new website, digital communications and collateral.
A respected industry voice
As part of bringing their positioning to life, we worked with the team to reimagine the existing ‘Assemble Papers’ as a journal that articulated the business’ mission to build a better housing system. We developed a strategic positioning that would help define its purpose and editorial direction – ‘Fighting for systemic change’ – as well as a separate identity, website and tone of voice guide that would drive resonance with new audiences.
As a vehicle for broadcasting critical ideas and radical approaches to developing fairer housing practices, locally and around the world, Assemble Papers will both inform the larger business strategies of Assemble and drive engagement with wider and more varied segments of the housing sector. By empowering it to claim its place as a strong, questioning voice within the industry, we ensured it would also become an invaluable tool in consolidating Assemble’s position as a leader in inciting change.