To Brand or Not to Brand?

That is
The Question

There was a great article in The Real Deal last month entitled “Inside South Florida’s Branded Condo Boom," where they interviewed several of the top developers in South Florida. One developer’s quote was particularly interesting to us:

“We’re all trying to differentiate ourselves and create some sort of special offering for the buyer…Having a brand is better than not having it.”

And while we agree with the statement's sentiment, it needs to be further clarified to be fully appreciated.

Define Your Terms

To fully understand the value of branding your property, you must first define your terms. Our favorite definition of a brand comes from Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer of Coca-Cola.

“A brand is essentially a container for a customer’s complete experience with a product or company."

We couldn't agree more, and this definition is vitally important to the real estate market. When viewed through this lens, you realize how far-reaching your efforts must be to create a memorable and meaningful brand.

Preeminent brands are fanatically focused on the brand’s point of view and its daily execution throughout every experience. The customer experience encompasses many things. Advertisements, digital experiences, printed collateral, staff

“Not Branded” Does Not Exist

This is where the previous quote comes back into play.

“We’re all trying to differentiate ourselves and create some sort of special offering for the buyer…Having a brand is better than not having it.”

The idea of “not having a brand” is a fallacy. Every building has a brand. The question is, are you going to do something about it? Will you define the final brand, or will the final brand define you? You will create all the necessary components of your business: digital experiences, printed materials, architectural spaces, amenities, and an entire staff (potential Brand Ambassadors if properly trained to see your vision.) Will you customize all these marketing assets to communicate your vision and point of view?

Or will you simply develop “stock?” You’ve seen stock before. That completely forgettable brochure. The mildly offensive color scheme. The staff member who has no idea why they are truly there. “Stock” is the expected. You can do the exceptional.

To illustrate this concept, travel to New York’s Upper West Side and visit the Dakota. Or Los Angeles’ hospitality mecca, The Beverly Hills Hotel. These locations provide a masterclass in building your own timeless brand.

Branded residential projects will only become more important in the future. To maximize your returns, do the work necessary to determine the best course of action for your brand efforts.

Whether licensing a brand or building one from scratch, you can create something remarkable IF you have the right approach.