Property Marketing Case Study – The power of brands in B2B and B2C (Cluttons, Workspace and CBRE)

Posted on: July 1, 2014

At the Estates Gazette (EG) inaugural Property Marketing Summit conference on Thursday 26th June 2014 there were three presentations that focused on brands, rebrands and value propositions.

Marc McConnell – Cluttons 

  • The Cluttons brand – predominantly red visually – was established 250 years ago
  • Amazon says “Brand is what someone says about you when you’re not in the room”
  • The leading brands can be recognised from as little as three words (e.g. Magical, Family, Entertainment = Disney)
  • Brand needs to extend from marketing communication, to the internal dialogue, through operational delivery to the customer experience
  • At the start of our rebrand we conducted:
    • 19 internal interviews
    • 10 site visits
    • 16 client interviews
    • 700 consumer surveyors
    • And held meetings with all equity partners
    • The approach we adopted was based on our belief that:
      • The truth was out there
      • Position around strengths
      • Get the right look (we did much colour research)
      • Make it actionable
      • Touch the right places
      • Measure and refine
      • Be bold and relentless
      • What we learned was that: it was a partner-led service, our services are innovative, we have a proactive approach and that as professionals we are expected to simplify complexity to deliver service excellence. With Einstein’s “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough” in mind we developed a position of “We make it easy”
      • We considered Richard Branson’s “inside out” brand concept and the importance of engaging your people and the story of the speed boat company that challenged every suggestion with “but will it make the boat go faster?”
      • To achieve internal engagement, we ran 27 workshops where we asked people to identify three things we should stop doing, three things we should start doing and three things we should do better
      • We did stop doing some things to see what happened – and the exercise was eventually cost neutral
      • The colour was changed to light blue – the name was the only thing we didn’t change so that there was an anchor to the past

Catherine Sellars – Workspace 

  • We have 100 properties in London which are mostly let to SME companies, creatives and professionals
  • Originally the company was called London Industrial and then we acquired offices and our strapline become “Flexible, Affordable Workspace” – a functional brand
  • With the rebrand we wanted to become more aspirational: “Where businesses grow faster”
  • Our value proposition focuses on providing the right spaces, events for tenants (4,000 new businesses) to network and a Club Workspace
  • 86% of our customers would recommend us
  • 90% of the deals done at Pillbox (a former pharmaceutical factory space) are from our internal marketing sources
  • We have seen a 20% increase in mobile device use
  • We have used large billboards and social media to promote centres – each of which has different features and qualities – and our Centre Managers run their own Twitter accounts, receive dynamic feedback (e.g. 122 customer “wows”) and build communities
  • We don’t use Facebook – that is primarily for B2C – but we use Instagram and blogs
  • Our agency monitors and manages any negative feedback and tenants are often surprised at the speed of response they receive 

Caroline Mills – CBRE Residential  

  • CBRE was mostly B2B and residential was traditionally B2C but the distinction is blurring so I think we should move to B2P (Business to People)
  • The merging of business and personal reflects on the need for brands to combine both rational and emotional elements
  • Surveyors and agents – and the property industry – is inherently social
  • A key challenge is to make things memorable – Like Land Securities’ launch when three men in neon outfits abseiled down a building
  • Property is also personality based and BNP Paribas achieved great branding with its “Game Changers” campaign featuring real people on advertisements
  • There was a need to address the fact that 85% of media consumption takes place now between Friday and Sunday and people are often in a receptive state of mind on their way to and from work
  • Billboards, articles and PR, emails and social media are combined into campaigns with emotion provided by drama, days in the life of a tenant, timelapse videos of buildings going up and selling the lifestyle
  • But it is still about relationships

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Original branding by Matt Playford · A site by Fresh01