How to build a property brand from the ground up
Five principles of property branding to stand out from the crowd
By Roberto D’Andria, BEAR Strategic Creative Director and Owner
Executed in the right way, branding can propel property. But how?
In this blog, we discuss how you can sell property before the development or building even exists…all by using the power of brand. We’ve identified five guiding principles for building a property brand, and what it needs to achieve to be successful.
#1. Nothing exists in isolation
How do we drive sales for a development that’s a twinkle in a developer’s eye?
Branding must be created with sensitivity to the surroundings. When you’re marketing a new development, the first thing you need to do is take a step back to understand the world it sits within. Analyse data and market trends, yes, but more importantly speak to your audiences. Get to know the environment and culture that surrounds you.
What are the benefits of your property project? Think beyond the target audience – what about the local community?
Celebrate the location, and embrace local. Convey to the community first and foremost the social benefits that you will bring through your project to the local area before you even think about selling to buyers. It’s vital to get everyone on board and excited.
The narrative that you end up telling might be historical, geographical or authentic to the building itself and its functionality. To make this decision study what’s already there, and then consider how your new development or destination will improve it.
#2. Know your audience(s)
The golden rule of property branding: to appeal to your investor, you need to appeal to end-buyers.
Brand in time can be a property development’s most valuable asset.
It can stir excitement for a project, compel audiences to investigate and then motivate them to act, all by creating an impression of what is coming.
But, when dealing with property, there’s never just one audience…
Property brands must have a duality to them, they must appeal to both investors/commercial partners and the end-user – the buyer. These two audiences should always be front-of-mind, this part is crucial.
When you demonstrate to investors that your development has a heart and soul, that is it more than just bricks and mortar, it shows that the project is fundamentally rooted in something substantial. It is founded in an idea that people will buy into – an emotive driver, which in turn will help the longevity of the development and its return on investment.
#3. Find your brand purpose.
Ask yourself, ‘what do we want to achieve with this development? and you’ll get closer to honing in on purpose.
At BEAR, we believe purpose is everything and we’re not alone – brands with a defined purpose grow twice as fast as others. Not only this but with a properly-defined purpose your communication will be clearer, identity sharper and brand activations will be firmly rooted in a central belief.
But how do you define the purpose for somewhere that doesn’t exist we hear you ask?
By utilising our Brand Communication Platform we’re able to define the best of what you are, and the best of what your development can be.
When you look to the future you will create a set of ambitions for the brand that revisits those first challenges and attacks them head-on. Purpose enables you to position a business – whether you’re entering a new space with an entirely new concept, raising existing standards or shifting perceptions with audiences. And in turn, this positioning helps you carve out a unique space in the market allowing you to stand ahead of the pack and gain a competitive edge.
#4. Fire the imagination.
You’ve defined a brand purpose, but how do you ensure your buyers go on that leap of faith with you? Fire the imagination.
Like most industries, the property landscape is competitive, and you will often be fighting for the same target audiences. Things get even harder when the development/ destination doesn’t even exist – you can’t walk around and show off the detail, but floorplans and specifications alone are not enough. Instead, you need to fire the imagination of your audience and sell the dream.
First and foremost define what it is you want to say. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but in the same way, the right narrative and copy can transport your audiences to other worlds. Make sure whatever you write is in line with your purpose and is customer-focused. Think about the benefits you want to communicate. Then, and only then, go at it and create something compelling.
You might have photography or CGIs to hand, but invariably, you’re often limited with what you have to paint pictures. That’s where ingenious design, style and creativity come into play. Try thinking outside of the box when it comes to ideas, does your purpose lend itself to a bold brand identity? Or should you be professional and understated in your tone? What’s the story you want to tell?
#5. Invest in the wider team.
Brand is transformative, but it doesn’t work in isolation.
To launch a property brand or business, you’ll also need to collaborate with a community of people; architects, interior designers, PR and marketing (to name but a few). The chosen partners need to be aligned in what the development stands for and invested in your vision for it. Trust and care are important too – you need to know that your partners are with you every step of the way.
When a clear brand purpose is sat at the heart of your business, it provides all partners with a strong foundation and sense of direction. Pair this with inspiring creativity and clear communication and you have an anchor point for everyone to move forward with.
Whether your property brand is in a planning process or the development is already in existence, it’s the quality of the idea that comes through. The hard work lies in developing a brand with the clarity to resonate with the audience and their needs.
BEAR has experience working with estate agents, developers and property experts, to create engaging branding with purpose at the centre.
Our experience spans from establishing Foxton’s brand in London to Spinningfields in Manchester, Trilogy and Limassol Marina in Cyprus and the Wilderness Estate back in the UK.
Contact us to find out more.