emily day / brand strategist

Sauer Properties | Mainline by Sauer

Brand Positioning

A well-known Richmond development group asked us to establish brand positioning for a soon-to-be neighborhood. Along the way, I got a history lesson on the property grounds and conducted a digital ethnography of potential residents.


Brand a new and ambitious 200,000 square-foot mixed-use-development to be enjoyed by those new and old to Richmond.


A thriving new Whole Foods Market is soon to be joined by additional retail, residential, and entertainment spaces in downtown Richmond, VA. Sauer Properties, a private real estate company and former subsidiary of the C.F. Sauer Company, plans to transform the industrial area into a vibrant neighborhood.


Developers are keen to herald in a new age of innovation while honoring a historical neighborhood's past.

Richmond is an emerging tech hub, drawing migrators from the nearby metropolitan areas of Washington, Baltimore, and Virginia Beach. Accommodating new residents' desires shouldn't overshadow the neighborhood's past.


Sauer's founding coincides with another historic event, the introduction of the first city-wide electric street car system in the US.

C.F. Sauer founded his namesake company in 1887. A year later, Richmond introduced the first city-wide electric street car system in the US. Tracks ran through Sauer property, still visible today, during a time known as the Gilded Age.


Anticipating Richmond's second great innovative wave, Sauer ushers in the city's present-day Gilded Age with a nod to its last.


Mainline by Sauer

Branding is reminiscent of the city’s industrial heyday, with nods to the electric transit system and C.F. Sauer’s namesake company, which grew to become the country’s largest producer of extracts and spices by the 1920s.

Guiding Principles

Legacy, centrality, and reciprocity are at Mainline's core.

Mainline honors Richmond’s past with a communal space that helps shape its future.

OOH + Social Promotion

Mainline is the first to welcome visitors to the city.

Whether traveling by car, plane, or train, Mainline will greet Richmond’s newest residents during their initial visits to the city.

Providing Connectivity

Partnering with RVA Tours, a trolley system fosters community connection and recreates the electric railway experience.

Leading up to the development’s completion, Mainline will offer shuttle services between nearby neighborhoods that score poorly on walkability.

The Team

Mark McColey (CW), Kendall Boron (AD), Meaghan McFarland (XD), Vivian Tran (CBM)