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The Lighthouse


LJ Hooker

Positioning & Integrated Branding


Sir Leslie Joseph Hooker founded his real estate business, LJ Hooker in 1928 and for 50 years grew it to become Australia’s largest and most trusted real estate brand. LJ, as he was affectionately known, sold the business in the 1980s, and for 30 years the brand stagnated from lack of vision. Enter LJ’s grandson, Leslie Janusz Hooker, an Olympian and property expert with a dream to buy back the master franchise and restore LJ Hooker to its leadership position.

LJ Hooker's grandson had a dream to buy back the business and restore the brand to its leadership position

Engaged to help lead this regeneration, we created a new brand positioning for LJ Hooker and refreshed its iconic identity to inject a more contemporary and multi-generational lifestyle feel across all its touchpoints. A centrepiece of the project involved the re-visioning of the ‘real estate office’ in a digital world. The Lighthouse concept brought to life LJ Hooker’s new ‘local area expert’ positioning its and proposition to help Australians of every generation ‘Find your way home.’

A centrepiece involved the re-visioning of the ‘real estate office’ in a digital world

Real estate is Australians no.1 preoccupation and pastime. A nation of 'home owners' is actually better articulated as 'home investors'. Our strategy was simple: recognise that every generation is a home investor, and position LJ Hooker as the ‘local area experts’ that can help investors make more informed assessments and decisions around the ‘positions’ they take in a suburb, to meet their and the market's needs. Families want schools. Young couples restaurants and cafés. Downsizers, 'community'. By providing hard and soft information, we could help people, 'Find there way home' practically, financially and emotionally. We become the 'Local area Lighthouse.' The result, a clear role for the real estate office, and clear mandate for the sort of layered intelligence we should provide, online and off, to build relationships and database.

By providing hard and soft information, we could help people 'Find there way home', practically, financially and emotionally.

LJ Hooker's Red, Yellow and Black colours were iconic identifiers of the brand. We contemporised and communicated its 'digital' life by layering the colours in tabs. And we created a custom typeface to modernise the wordmark and make it fresher and friendlier. The real image shift, however, was achieved in creating a fresh, contemporary, aspirational and multi-generational identity system and integrating it across hundreds of brand touchpoints. The focus was on dialing back yellow for white, expanding the colour range and humanising the brand with a novel graphic language, lifestyle photography and engaging 'voice' that spoke to the happiness of ‘Finding your way home’, in all its amazing guises.

The real shift was achieved in creating a fresh, contemporary, aspirational and multi-generational identity

We took the 'Local area lighthouse' positioning and 'Find your way home' proposition and brought it to life in a new, modular LJ Hooker office concept. A feature of the office was to remove the classic reception and replace it with a digital hub, the Lighthouse. A central orb, it provided a local area map and functionality to overlay information on to different lifestyle needs and interests, and market performance data. The whole space was designed to express the new identity, retail the services and expertise LJ Hooker offered, and entice locals and passersby to come in, use the tools and establish contact.

The space was designed to entice passersby in to use the tools and establish contact.

The Lighthouse hub was a digital platform accessed exclusively at LJ Hooker offices, ‘satellite’ stores and mall and event kiosks. Its value was its content, functionality and novelty - the ability to dynamically overlay lifestyle and market data on a local area map – had the power to engage customers and generate leads. Users could shop for property on multiple lifestyle and market performance factors. In concert, we developed a market indices concept, the LJX, powered by RP Data. Its aim was to give LJ Hooker and Australian property owners and media a key market index to follow and report (like the ASX). Tracking movements nationally and locally, the LJX operated as both a branding device and utility for investors.

The property intelligence hub had the power to generate new customer leads.

Presentation in real estate is everything. However agents are individuals, and it's both impractical and culturally inappapropriate for them to wear a 'uniform'. Our solution was to create an integrated range of fashion attire and accessories based on gender but also context and occassion; from city to country, cool to hot climates, open houses to formal ceremonies. Further, we created a pool of brands and online suppliers, and a look book, that would make it easy for individuals in different locations and circumstances to create a wardrobe that would work for them, and deliver a total LJ Hooker brand experience.

Presentation in real estate is everything.