Freeze-dried coffee ... Haagen Dazs: what makes YOU distinctive?

Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc.

There are about 80 brands of coffee listed worldwide and 200 brands of ice cream. There are approximately 1.6 million Realtors listed in the United States alone.  There are an estimated 2.7 million architects working world-wide.

If you are swimming in a field full of like-competitors, a unique name or different angle or presentation of your work or product may distinguish you amongst your peers.  It could be on the cusp of a trend or something in your area that is unique.  It could be based on the economic and social makeup of the community you serve.  It may have to do with the age of your housing stock, the type of people moving in, a local trend occurring due to national and economic change.


If you had to name a few ice cream brands, which come to mind first?  Store brands or specialty ice creameries?  I think of Haagen Dazs, Ben and Jerry's, and Blue Bell.  Did you know that Haagen Dazs means absolutely nothing?  Actually, according to Wikipedia, the Danish owner wanted to make it: "a tribute to Denmark's exemplary treatment of its Jews during the Second World War"

But most consumers had no idea.  It was new.  And it was expensive.  It tasted great because probably the ingredients were richer.  Ben and Jerry's has a personal, homemade implication.  It is a northeastern company, with many clever named flavors, while Bluebell is better known in the south.  The latter implies goodness from cows.  All taste great and their presentation, by name only, has connected them to a particular palate expectation.

Freeze-dried coffee??  We all know instant is convenient but ground is better tasting.  Originally instant coffee was heat dried. So why freeze-dry it?  In 1964 the new process was introduced and Waka was one of the first brands to distribute it.  But why do it?  Apparently, coffee companies wanted to distinguish their brands from others and offered this process, touting its superior taste.  Hmmm...

Now, what does all this have to do with YOU?  How do YOU stand out?  Do you have a value-added proposition?


This deals with the concept of a niche within your industry.  It is something that you do specifically, uniquely, that most others in your industry don't or cannot do as well.  There are real estate firms led by attorneys, some that deal with high rise condos, others that work with divorced couples, etc.  Touting your niche will definitely separate you from the pack and with proper marketing and SEO, should direct people clearly to your office.

I have been doing a few multi-generational houses of late.  Should I develop a separate website even to distinguish this design specialty over others? Should I just add an extra page on my web?  Should I push this specialty out into the community and region via mailers, cards, and other advertising?


Have you been selling patio homes more than any other type?  Do you find yourself selling more in historic neighborhoods with traditional houses?  Do you love serving a working family or retirees? 

Maybe renaming your company --'rebranding' -- if you wish, to enter a more exclusive or better-known or higher-turnover market, could be in order.  

What are your strengths that others cannot match?  What is your distinctive background?  What things do you know that others in your field do not?  Do you speak multiple languages, are you comfortable working with certain ethnic groups, does your educational background include training or understanding of details and processes that are beneficial to a specific market?  If you come from a medical background, then perhaps you would excel in specializing in in-home care and housing that accommodates in-place aging, etc.

Maybe you have worked for a builder in the past and can spot problems or advantages in houses that can benefit your client.  Have you been in the armed forces; do you understand the specific needs of active or retired military?   

Like the advent of freeze-dried coffee, can you deliver the same level of service in a unique manner that others don't?  Can you make up a NEW level of service?

I thought plain Coke was great.  Then bottled Coke went into cans...  (they lost it there).  Then diet, low cal, decaff, etc.  They changed the look of their bottles, they played with their logo, they created TV ads that had to compete with other soft drinks, etc.

No matter how good or weak a product or service may be, there are always new methods of repackaging the same thing, or changing it slightly through packaging/advertising, in order to attract more people/inquiries/sales.  Something to ponder...


The top image is freeze-dried ice cream made by Neapolitan Astronaut Ice Cream.  You can order it online here.  Around the late 60s, General Foods was selling a flake cereal with freeze-dried bananas.  You had to wait until the bananas hydrated in the milk but by that time the flakes had turned to mush.  Another great idea, but apparently not a lot of thinking behind it! 



Re-Blogged 1 time:

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  1. Sally K. & David L. Hanson 08/11/2019 02:12 AM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
whats in a name
branding your business to stand out

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Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Branding, Branding, Branding.... and do it relentlessly with marketing.... be visible known.... one does not need to meet everyone....just "heard of" by everyone...

make them think of you, when they want to market their homes.... and no agent or team will be able to come close to your production..... 

Aug 10, 2019 11:59 AM #2
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


It is never about pushing a brand, it is about pulling the customers to your brand, because that is exactly what they need and want...That is the real secret, if you have to push, it is over.  A

Aug 10, 2019 02:36 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

John- you had to mention Blue Bell and show that GIF of a scoop of ice cream, didn't you!?  I love Blue Bell ice cream and am craving it now!!!

Aug 10, 2019 05:11 PM #4
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good evening John Henry ,

 As usual you gave us so much to ponder! I'm with Ron and Alexandra Seigel it's all about creating a brand that is what consumers want and value..they will seek you out because they want it ..they don't want to be pushed and knocked over the head!

Aug 10, 2019 07:05 PM #5
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

In niches  there are riches!

Aug 11, 2019 02:12 AM #6
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John.

There are so many way to re-brand oneself, it is almost limitless.  Chose your path carefully

Aug 11, 2019 02:14 AM #7
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon John Henry - that is certainly worth some deep thought as I ponder my niche!

Aug 11, 2019 11:33 AM #8
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

OH boy! Two of my favorite topics - ice cream and marketing, John! You know your business with BOTH (more than the so-called 'marketing gurus,' I might add)!

I'm a huge Ben & Jerry's fan - and love the clever names. I love Phish Food and Cherry Garcia - different days for different flavors! LOL

Aug 18, 2019 10:52 PM #10
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Henry -   Coffee or no coffee, day or night, you're a breath of fresh air and an innovator. Like all your previous posts, this one is no exception. You have the power to empower your readers to channel their creativity and challenge the way they do business.  These are interesting observations and worth pondering!

Aug 19, 2019 03:23 AM #11
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

Like others I am going to ponder my niche!  I have been working my way toward that recently - this will accelerate the process 

Aug 19, 2019 04:23 AM #12
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning John Henry ,

I see the AR Gods finally woke up and waived a gold star on this post of yours! I was reading through your post again and the comments. So much to ponder but reputation is such an important asset to possess in any service field. One must advertise to keep your name out there but how its done and the frequency is important to understand. Consistency is the key but the message is so important. A certain agent has mailed out monthly advertisements on his services and market information in the neighborhood for 3 years now. Not one listing or sale has he produced. Why isn't it working? The message and the shoddy piece he's sending doesn't resonate with home owners. The photos of homes he's listed are not in our hood, the market updates don't make sense and his message "He'll sell your house fast" doesn't  attract homeowners. They want to get the most they can. The homes pictured are in less expensive communities and older can tell at a glance they aren't in our neighborhood. Obviously no research was done on the community so targeting the audience is ineffective.

Aug 19, 2019 05:23 AM #13
Liz and Bill Spear
RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 - Mason, OH
RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton)

Actually, I DO sell more patio homes than other types of homes :)

Aug 19, 2019 08:15 AM #14
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Hi John Henry another great post to ponder! There's a alot of pondering going on in the rain thanks to Michael Jacobs  and now you!  I had a mentor years and years ago that taught me how to stand out and how to create a trusted brand. I started at first, not really liking the banana thing, but holy smokes it took off like a wild fire. I'm still stuck with banana! And happy to be so!

Aug 19, 2019 04:40 PM #15
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Oh and BTW ice cream sounds real good today as it's HOT out - thanks for the idea. As for the freeze dried coffee....I'll pass on that one!!!

Aug 19, 2019 04:42 PM #16
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Interesting viewpoint and something I am sure we all thiunk about a lot. How to make urselves the realtor of choice that your past clients call without thinking of going to someone else.

Aug 21, 2019 10:11 AM #17
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

I have and push my niche, but I do have to get back to AR more often.  It's been a while since I was a regular here.  The good news is ... old blog posts still have the phone ringing.

Aug 21, 2019 12:24 PM #18
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Branding is important and especially for a can take a while to find your niche though and develop the brand

Aug 21, 2019 01:37 PM #19
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

MMM. Ben and Jerrys, Haagen Dazs.  Just picked up 4 pints this afternoon.  They really are the best... and they don't come in a plastic container.  I refuse to buy ice cream in a plastic container when carboard will do the job.  That's a rant for another day.

Aug 22, 2019 09:02 PM #20
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Excellent points!  One of my recipes used dried coffee, which is the only reason I ever purchased it years ago.  It might come in handy for other reasons, like disguising a bad trash can odor!  Interesting twist - branding!  That is something I worked on heavily for years, but of late not so much.  I need to get at it again!  Thanks for the encouragement!

Aug 25, 2019 05:47 PM #21
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Jan: you are Ms. GREEN.  I can't believe how your last name works so well with your niche! Unforgettable! Best to you, Jan Green 

Aug 27, 2019 07:23 AM #22
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