— December 2017
A well thought-out brand can prove to be a residential property’s developer’s most valuable asset. Keep reading to discover how a unique identity can help to generate leads and maximise sales…
A central location, friendly neighbourhood and high-end specifications are all features that prospect buyers prioritise when searching for a new home. Many properties, however, tick all of these boxes, leaving developers to consider how they can differentiate their schemes from their competitors’. Well, the answer is quite simple: a considered and well-crafted brand strategy.
Let’s start by clarifying what a brand actually is. Contrary to popular belief, branding is not just the creation of a clever name or logo marque. As the American Marketing Association explains: “A brand is a name, term, design, symbol, or any other feature that identifies one seller’s good or service as distinct from those of other sellers”. With this in mind, a comprehensive branding strategy, that clearly and consistently reinforces these distinctions, should be the cornerstone of any property developer’s marketing and sales efforts.
How these distinctions might translate into a visual language through all customer touch points is a consideration not to be taken lightly. For instance, a well planned campaign should consider how a masterbrand marque can influence the virtual and physical collateral (website, hoardings, CGI, social media, VR, copywriting, photography, brochures, emailers, signage, architectural flourishes, apartment interiors etc.) that home buyers come into contact with as part of their customer journey. A consistent approach to visual imagery, design and tone of messaging across all of these channels will help to convey a considered development which will in turn build credibility, maximise leads and secure sales.
Keep reading to the uncover the reasons why a coherent approach to branding is essential for every residential property development…
Reason #1: Branding lends credibility
Investing in a property is a major financial investment and a decision that cannot be made on a whim. It typically requires 6 to 8 touch points between the potential buyer and development in order to generate a viable sale. For example, a typical journey could look something like this: online search results > a website visit > email sign up > social media interaction > brochure > visit to a show apartment. At every stage, the branding must be clear, consistent and compelling enough to build a sense of assurance and quality, which in turn will instil buyer confidence.
An example: Hatbox for Scarborough
Hatbox is a residential development positioned in the New Islington area of Manchester city centre. In order to provide these unique apartments with a sense of personality, we produced a bright, vibrant and modern brand to appeal to professional and aspirational city dwellers. This high-quality brand identity campaign was spread across all different promotional outlets, including the website and marketing collateral. The result was a professional and cohesive campaign that gained the confidence of many buyers.
Reason #2: Branding allows you to highlight your competitive advantage
A carefully considered brand provides property developers with the opportunity to spotlight their unique selling proposition (USP) to their target demographic. For instance, their properties may boast a popular location, generous square footage or quirky designs – all noteworthy features that could appear extremely attractive to potential investors. A simple way to capitalise on these advantages is by positioning them at the heart of a branding campaign and as a result, subtly but implicitly, communicating the development’s strongest features.
An example: Murrays’ Mills for Manchester Life
Murrays’ Mills boasts the grand distinction of being situated in the world’s oldest steam powered mill. In order to capitalise on this unique situation, we produced a brand identity focused around the property’s heritage. The strategy was to make it clear to prospective buyers that they could potentially buy another home elsewhere in the city – but they couldn’t buy another home in Ancoats with such a colourful character and distinct history.
Reason #3: Branding increases sales
A clear branding approach and a well defined brand camping will deliver ROI. The branding process in itself should encourage developers to strategically consider their scheme and pose the questions: who do we want to target? What message do we want to deliver? What is our unique selling point? Arguably, a respected brand image can become a property developer’s most valuable asset, with more and more buyers gravitating towards properties with a strong identity, rather than grey box homes. In fact, a study from Knight Frank into luxury residences revealed that branded residences command an average uplift of 31% in comparison to their unbranded rivals.
An example: Royal Mills for Renaker Constructing Solutions
We created an integrated campaign for Royal Mills, a Victorian mill situated within Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The branding themes and messages were integrated through all marketing channels, including: the website, sales brochure and site-wide signage. As a result, 50% of the Royal Mills apartments were sold within the first week.
In summary, clearly defining the buyer audience and presenting the development, at every turn, in a light they will find attractive through a strong, clear brand will go a long way to ensuring that aspirations of the development are fully met – both in terms of buyer expectation and the developers sales book.
If you are a property developer and looking for help branding your next project, then don’t hesitate to give us a bell or drop us a line.