Novel Marketing Agency St. Louis | Branding, Content,  Websites, Digital Strategy



encore at forest park



Balke Brown Transwestern is an award-winning commercial real-estate brokerage, investment, property-management and development-services firm. Established in 1979, the organization has been committed to quality building design and tenant service for nearly 40 years. Today, the company is one of the largest commercial real-estate firms in the St. Louis region. 

In 2018, 2B Residential, the Multifamily Management Division of Balke Brown Transwestern, partnered with Novel to promote a new property opening in a crowded market. ENCORE at Forest Park situated next door to an existing Balke Brown property, needed to be differentiated from other properties in the market. Balke Brown’s properties had a successful track record, but what could set ENCORE apart from properties with similar offerings? 

Enter Novel. Our team was hired to transform an already beautiful space with memorable details into the go-to property for interested St. Louis-area dwellers. Drawing on our publishing background, point of view and aesthetic, Novel was able to create stories, visual assets and an event concept that would help differentiate ENCORE. With that far-reaching strategy, Balke Brown Transwestern felt Novel was the right partner.


Research & Strategy

First, we developed a list of things that makes ENCORE truly unique from competitors. We developed key messaging that highlighted the property’s unique attributes, like the proximity to beautiful Forest Park, the balance of a suburban and urban feel, the award-winning customer service, and the diverse modern lifestyle provided by the excellent location. 

Then, we built specific customer personas—we even gave them names. We took the time to plot out the type of resident that might live at ENCORE and stepped into their shoes. We asked what types of stories and experiences these people might want. But we didn’t stop there. 

We nailed down tone, content angles, frequency of stories and more, and built an editorial calendar using the facts we’d garnered from our research. Then, the team crafted a list of visual assets and event experiences that we were confident the target audience would enjoy. 


a successful plan

ENCORE’s new on-brand content strategy included a sample calendar of ideas, angles and frequencies for email newsletters, the website blog, social media platforms and exciting events. We provided digital recommendations that would help prioritize platforms and budgets. But that wasn’t enough for this plan to be successful: Assets and experiences needed to be created to take this strategy to the finish line. 

We brought in a senior photography team to create impactful images that captured the development’s unique attributes and showed the personality of the space. Further, we created assets with the digital strategy in mind, so the images are primed for creative storytelling and engagement online. 

And to launch with a bang, we crafted a grand-opening event to appeal to our target audience and reward current residents with an exciting experience. An elevated barbecue and shopping concept fleshed out with a hand-picked roster of local makers drove attendance and awareness in the market. 



the results

Since its launch, ENCORE has met occupancy goals and beat occupancy-market expectations. ENCORE boasts a cohesive, growing Instagram account with high engagement and exceptional imagery—a rarity in the industry. Smoke & Mirrors, the grand-opening event, tallied more than 750 RSVPs and 500 attendees. The robust marketing plan generated more than 1,000,000 impressions and has created a buzz in the area, rewarding ENCORE with regular tour requests. The results show that the partnership was successful, but Novel goes a step further to ensure a profitable future as well. 

“We had a successful grand-opening event, and Novel did a fantastic job of promoting
the event on ALIVE Magazine and GUIDED Magazine’s channels...
Our social media page looks fantastic thanks to the visuals they provided...”

-Mark Milford, Associate Vice President