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Sage Homes, Home Stepper

Creating a visual identity for the Sage Homes ‘Home Stepper’ incentive which would primarily align its characteristics to the Sage Homes brand as a product-led sub brand.

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The brief

Sage Homes were looking to expand their services and offer a product like the pre-existing Shared Ownership scheme. This new home-buying product was set up to work alongside national, regional, and local home builders, transforming private sale homes into more affordable properties – with lower deposits and more manageable mortgage payments

The Focus Agency Group were tasked with creating a visual identity which would primarily align its characteristics to the Sage Homes brand as a product-led sub brand. However, the identity also needed to offer a universal aesthetic that would allow it to easily sit alongside other developer brands and support Sage Homes’ longer-term plan for those adopting the product to promote it within their own marketing and subsequently highlight Sage Homes as the co-landlords behind it. It was a complex and intricate challenge, which delivered great results.


The strategy

Firstly, we identified the range of target audiences who would need or consider such a product, and then developed personas to help guide us through our decision-making process. Our conclusions led us to identify potential

customers, determine their life-stage-driven and highly nuanced wants and needs, and importantly understand the reasons behind their affordability barriers. This data and insight enabled us to effectively position Sage Homes’ new product as an empowering homebuying solution, and with our supporting, customer-centric tone of voice, we were able to address homebuyer concerns, gain their trust and entice them with the opportunity to achieve their dream home

Upon implementation, our Media team developed a content-first proposal with a principal goal to educate and inform at the initial stages of all product launch activity. This deployment plan included marketing to our identified key audiences via contextual targeting and selected partnerships.

The execution

We developed the name “Home Stepper” which suggested the notion of progress – aligning to property language such as ‘stepping onto the property ladder’ or the idea of ‘stepping up in the world’. The name needed to be ubiquitous with enablement and positivity. We then utilised the developed strapline of “Making more homes more affordable” to underpin its purpose as a solution-based product which could empower aspiring homebuyers. Whilst developing an effective tone of voice for Home Stepper, we also considered the implications with Sage Homes’ corporate brand vision of “Providing homes, inspiring change, improving lives”, to ensure there was a deep-rooted connection and alignment with the organisation.

From a visual identity perspective, creating something which would harmonise alongside a vast range of developer brands led us to explore a range of articulations with the goal of creating something versatile and uncomplicated. Once we zeroed in on the best logo configuration, we pulled through hallmarks of the Sage Homes brand including colours, typography, and graphic composition to create a uniformed appearance. Detailed levels of synergy were created between the Sage Homes and Home Stepper logos – including line weights, spacing and curvature – to allow both to feel intrinsically linked across all supporting collateral and visual references. At a developer-level we created a simplified design system where the Home Stepper identity became neutral and could easily accompany any developer logo and identity without conflict.

Our roll-out process included developing a range of infographics to explain the product benefits, creating training manuals for the developers to follow, and a range of point-of-sale materials and customer guides to explain the buying process.

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