Background / Challenge:
In the past several years search-technology has significantly impacted the real estate business for brokers, agents and consumers. With the emergence of sites like Zillow, traditional Multiple Listing Services, long the lifeblood for professionals, has been under attack.
In response, in late 2018, the two largest New York-based MLS platforms decided to merge to create a giant new platform that would commence with 47,000 listings stretching from the Catskills to Montauk, including the five boroughs of New York City, one of the only major U.S. cities without a centralized MLS.
New York MLS approached WANT Branding to help create the new name, the positioning and the brand identity for this merged entity.
Over a fast track, three-month period, we worked closely with a small leadership group to create the new brand elements. Our initial task was to embark on a two-week discovery phase including interviews, marketplace audits and insight mining to help determine what the new brand should stand for.
The key insight for the new MLS was posed as a question: Why would anyone want to go a secondary source for data when you can get it straight from the source-the real estate professionals themselves? The new positioning idea “The One” helped to crystallize the idea that this new MLS would be the ‘one source’ for the most, reliable, trusted real estate data and tools for consumers and realtors.
We also created a detailed brand messaging framework that helped to articulate and message key benefits of the MLS across the main stakeholder groups.
Using ‘The One’ positioning as our strategic foundation for naming we created hundreds of name ideas and again worked closely with the leadership to identify a small shortlist.
One candidate emerged overwhelmingly from the process – OneKey. For consumers, OneKey underscored MLS as the only source they would need. For realtors, it evoked the idea that this MLS was the number one way to help them succeed. And, for agents, it drove the idea that would unite this cohort and make feel like they were on a winning team that could help make their day to day work life much easier.
Finally, we created a bold, modern and memorable brand identity/logo and recommendations for how to activate the brand across touchpoints.
The OneKey brand was launched with great fanfare in early October 2019. Since launch, several New York real estate firms have started using OneKey, including Compass, Bond and Keller Williams.