The Beaver has been banished | Splat, Inc.

The Beaver Has Been Banished…


When I first began writing “Sitegeist” a couple of months ago, one of the first stories I ran dealt with the very risk-taking and risque branding completed in Manhattan for the new construction project “The William Beaver House.” The Beaver House used a fictional mascot (a beaver, of course) who was emblematic of the quintessential Beaver House resident. He was a globe-trotting successful entrepreneur who liked to spend time with the ladies. The entire site was suffused with cheeky irreverance and, to read it, one got the sense that the project was built for a very well defined demographic.

A week and a half ago, I was meeting with a Manhattan sales prospect and we logged on to the Beaver’s website and — gasp — the entire branding for the project had been reworked (see homepage above.) Gone is the fictional mascot (except for an iconographic representation in the lower left corner of the homepage) and gone is the messaging targeting the jetsetting, swinger demographic. The website now has this pristine “precious metal” look and is much more traditional in selling the value of the project.

All this begs the question: How seriously do developers really take this whole notion of “branded architecture?” If one buys into the current thinking, projects are being developed these days with the notion of creating distinct and definable brands. Thus, if a project was aimed towards a young successful set of globetrotters, one would include amenities that spoke to that demographic. How then, is it possible to just change the branding of a project without changing the design or the amenities? This seems to be what the Beaver House is doing. I guess the market will decide if any of this really matters…

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