The Importance of Branding for Real Estate Developers

This week Myra Hotchkiss (Visiting Contributor-Freak) writes about the importance of Real Estate Developers developing a brand personality. Read on!

Branding has only entered the collective consciousness in the last twenty years. Everyone from job seekers using resumes to the services industry using instantly recognized logos to manufacturers using catch phrases brand themselves or their product. Instant recognition the world over has made Coca-Cola, Nike and FedEx the standard to which others must rise. Branding is about more than simple recognition; it’s about identification and confidence. Logos can only carry a business so far. Past that, the business needs to strike a chord in its clientele. This can best be seen in the field of real estate development. These are a group of people seldom seen, but their products are sought after. Experts agree there are specific steps real estate developers should follow to establish their brand.

Developers and Brand Association

Given that branding is about people, it would therefore follow that emotion and psychology is used to influence buyers. Think about belonging to a group of people who “just do it”, belonging to a group who only drive cars with “drivers wanted” as the slogan. Property seekers wishing to belong to a certain group often search for developments offering the value they seek. A study performed by Sunway University College in Malaysia examined how real estate developers wishing to brand themselves could use the components making up the value of real estate to engender brand association in property seekers. The study mentioned that most Malyasian people recognized instantly brands such as Coca-Cola, Nestle and Toyota, so the inference should be that they would recognize the branded real estate developer. The four components, the study reported, were images of the property, the premises, the functionality and their performance.The study said these four facets were how property buyers viewed the developer. This interview with Will Wright at White Space illustrates the study’s description of four steps in branding.

Developers and Brand Awareness

No one will deny that Toyota is a reliable brand. Nor would anyone deny that Nike is trendy or that FedEx is a leader in its field. These and other points make up what the Malaysian study calls property seekers’ brand awareness. Developers branding themselves would come up to standards that don’t come through in a simple logo:

  • Professionalism
  • Reliable
  • Classy
  • Security
  • Family-friendly
  • Trendy
  • Attractive investment
  • Confidence
  • Contemporary
  • Leader in the field
  • Technical ability

The study performed a test among buyers, the results of which showed that the property developer concentrating more on the above branding points as opposed to price garnered the majority of property seekers’ attention. From an architect’s point of view comes an article on LinkedIn, which seems to illustrate these points in the Malay study.

Developers and Brand Personality

As if all this wasn’t enough to incorporate into branding the real estate developer, he also has to worry about brand personality. How property buyers perceive the developer has a lot to do with the sale of his developments. It’s the man who knows “there’s something about an Aqua Velva man” who attracts people who identify with the attraction of a brand. On the other hand, the lady who knows it’s “because I’m worth it” attracts those who identify with the confidence of that brand. See what we mean?

Brand personality includes the tone of the brand, imagination, competence, ruggedness and class. The developer deciding his tone should be friendly and laid back should capture a certain portion of the market. This tends to be younger buyers seeking to remain in place for a while. Imagination we don’t have to tell you about. It’s the developer who can match the imagination in Lowe’s half-papered billboard with “unfinished project?” printed on it or the lady’s face with an open mouth forming the overpass into which a car is driving that will snag a goodly share of the market.

Competence is about “being in good hands” and “built like a rock”.


Competence is about “being in good hands” and “built like a rock”. While these are instantly recognizable slogans, the real estate developer that can instill confidence like that in his buyers has built a heck of a brand. Similarly, the developer that comes across as the builder of rugged developments built to last will capture a hefty portion of the market. Last, but not least, is the perception buyers will have. Shall the developer be classy like actors with an international flavor such as Sean Connery and Sophia Loren, or will he be culturally modern and pop? Some if not all of these traits in branding personality are described in an article by Sanjay Bajaj, a real estate professional in India.

Real estate professionals are one of the last groups of people to jump on the branding bandwagon. It has been previously thought that branding either real estate agents or developers was unnecessary, that grass and buildings couldn’t be branded. However, aren’t the Sears Tower in Chicago and Union Station in Washington, D. C. instantly recognizable? Someone developed those properties. Had they been branded, those developers would be just as recognized as their famous properties.

Branding is more than just a logo and a catchy jingle. It’s about identifying, about instilling confidence and about intuitively knowing what your niche needs. Contact us when you need real estate branding: don’t leave home without it.

Opening a Business? Start with Branding and End with Success

This week, MAD Contributor-Freak Sandy Gates thinks properly branding a new business leads to success.

Finally, you have made the life changing decision–going into business for yourself. Yikes! That is one scary, exciting decision, but working for someone else is just so unsatisfying. So, what’s next?

Well then, where to go from here?

You have done your homework, research, and have the needed funds. Let’s say you have decided to use your talents to open a craft beer brew pub. BANG. There is the brand. A brew pub. Not just a dive bar, no ambience joint, but a real, high quality, fun, neighborhood, crowd drawing brew pub. From all the reading and meetings, you’ve learned that success is achieved through hard-hitting branding.

You grab a pen and pad beginning the all important list to get your brand created, being sure you will stand out in the crowd, and get those doors open:

A name for the pub

Catchy and fun, but sophisticated enough to attract the   customers who will do anything for a great tasting brew.

Business cards

Visually appealing and easy to read, nice logo, using high quality card stock.


This is key toward success of the business. It must look absolutely professional including the needed tabs and pages with email and social media connected to it. That way, your customer list will grow like a mature hops vine.


What avenue should you take? Budget? Who to target with which media?

Sure, you could do all of this yourself. Or, perhaps, you could call in that favor from your brother-in-law who took that art class that time. But, after some serious thought about the business that will be your livelihood, you realize you may need a reputable professional to create and get this brand out. The MAD House specializes in the entire marketing package–the creative process,  branding, graphic design and advertising. The MAD House has the experience to create the brand and design for the cans, bottle labels, tap handles, and even the swag! Today, the brew pub may just be a dream, but in the near future it will be a successful small business! Contact us to begin the branding and advertising process today.

Branding Reminders for Small Companies: 5 Steps to Stay on Track

Bethany Pinzur, MAD Blog Contributor-Freak, has 5 branding reminders to help keep small companies on track.

Branding opens communication with customers. It informs customers, past, present, and future of your company’s ideologies, goals, and services.

It is imperative, therefore, to ensure that your brand accurately represents those aspects at all times. As your business changes direction depending on demand, interest, and practicality, follow these steps to ensure that your brand continues speaking directly and authentically to each customer.

1. Remember

Seems so obvious, so why do some business owners seem to forget?

Maybe it is laziness, perhaps carelessness; regardless, avoid this mistake at all costs. Keep your brand in mind constantly, asking yourself if it still represents all you stand for and communicates it effectively to customers.

2. Evaluate Change

Keep your fingers on the pulse of your business. Recognize change as it is happening to avoid surprises and careless mistakes: nothing says you do not really care about your brand like letting it get out-of-date. Take charge and take note of the direction your business is going.

3. Customer Feedback

Repeat with me, “Customers are the lifeblood of my company.”

No matter how well you think your brand represents your company, you must constantly keep in contact with your customers to see if they are accurately understanding what you are communicating. Invite feedback. Interact.

4. Redesign

And when the time comes: make changes.

Changes, big and small, attract attention. Modifying your brand shows innovation, courage, and growth. Keep the essence so current customers remain engaged, but redesign honestly to demonstrate developments in the company — and to attract new customers.

5. Advertise

Promote your shiny new brand.

Show customers that you are the same trustworthy company you have always been, but that you are listening to their feedback, expanding, and advancing. Nothing attracts customers like showing you go out of your way to reach them and listen to them.


To sum it all up, be careful, value customers, and take action.

Sound simple? It is.

But if you need ideas, confidence, or more information, do not hesitate to contact us!

What’s the Difference Between a Differentiation and Differentiation Focus Strategy?

This week, differentiation is on MAD Contributor-Freak Martina’s mind.

If you’re not interested in lowering the price of your product or service, then you need either a differentiation or a differentiation focus strategy. The other two types of strategies for setting a business apart from competitors only work if you sell your product at the lowest price.

Differentiation is critical in business because consumers have so many options it’s overwhelming. They’re not living in a world where they only have 2-3 choices. In order to convince someone to buy your product, you must show not only how you’re different than the rest but why that makes you better too, at least from the customer’s perspective.

So, What’s The Difference?

The difference between a differentiation strategy and a differentiation focus strategy is the former considers the entire market, whereas only a segment of the market is relevant to a differentiation focus strategy. It’s easy to remember this variation because of the word “focus”.

Businesses that use a differentiation strategy determine how they are unique in their industry and what sets them apart from all of the other businesses in that industry. Differentiating your company from all competitors in an industry doesn’t matter in a differentiation focus strategy. What matters is you are unique to the section of the market you’re catering to. If you use a differentiation focus strategy, you only need to contemplate how to stand out in a certain section of the market.

How to Choose

Therefore, when it comes to choosing between a differentiation and differentiation focus strategy, your decision relies on whom you’re targeting. Remember these strategies are not just used for business branding but product marketing too. One of your products may require a differentiation strategy, whereas another needs differentiation focus.

Contact us to brainstorm differentiation or differentiation focus strategies for your company or product.

Communicating Brand Promise to Employees

This week, Quynh chimes in about your brand’s promise and your employees.

Chances are you have visited a store to find the employees working there to be unfriendly, unhelpful, and downright unpleasant. How can a store that supposedly values customer service hire those with negative attitudes toward customers?  It’s more common than you think. This scenario can manifest itself when a company grows and, with so much on its plate, starts losing track of its mission.

What are ways a company can prevent its brand promise from being diluted or misunderstood? Read on to find out.

1) Marketing

Many businesses spend millions on dollars on advertising, making sure consumers truly understand their brand. Yet, those same companies neglect to market to an extremely important group: their own employees. If they do not know exactly what your brand is about, how can they represent it and convey that to clients? Market so that your employees are as passionate about the brand as your most loyal fan base. Make sure everyone recognizes the company’s mission and all are employees determined to deliver the promise to customers.

2) Hire the right people

When you hire the wrong people, your brand can be damaged if they do not view the brand in the same way you do. This is why hiring the right people, who are passionate and representative of the brand promise, is so important. Train your recruiters and managers on what to prioritize in candidates, and make sure that they understand what makes your organization truly stand out.

3) Spell out meaningful actions

Educating your employees on your brand promise can be futile if it doesn’t translate into correct behaviors. This is why company leaders should lay out exactly what employees can do to further convey the brand’s message. For example, a place that values customer service above all else can endeavor to have staff smile and address the clients by their name if possible. Or a company valuing expertise can ensure their workers are up-to-date on any changes in the industry. Breaking down a brand promise into realistic actions will help your employees expectations and give them goals to strive for.

For more information on building your brand, please contact us today.

4 Ways to Make an Impact with Packaging

Here’s a quickie from MAD Contibutor-Freak Gianna Bartholomew with thoughts on making an impact with packaging.

I’m sure you’ve heard the popular phrase: “Don’t judge a book by a cover,” but a book cover is what draws the customer in…of course it is wonderful when the words between the cover are engaging. This is true with many other products and that’s why packaging is so important.

Here are four ways that make packaging attractive and helpful:

  1. Purpose – Packaging helps to guard a product so there isn’t any damage. It has this practical quality in case the product such as a tuna fish can or can of peaches falls off the shelf at a supermarket. The container protects the product.
  2. Marketing – The design of the label on a product sells the product. Of course it helps if the product is a brand well-known, such as Starbucks or McDonald’s, but the label is designed for selling.
  3. Variation – Packaging designs differ from each other. This difference makes the customer respond and understand which brand is which. The designs also help sway decisions.
  4. Ingredients – Packaging is important because it contains nutritional information. If there wasn’t labeling on a product, the customer wouldn’t know what the sugar, carbohydrate, cholesterol content is (or the IBUs and ABV either!). It’s a necessity to have this information on the label.

The label on a bottle, can or sunscreen tube needs to appeal hands down to the customer. If it doesn’t grab the customer’s attention from the shelf, a person will just pass on by. Of course the product has to shine, but the label is necessary…the product can stand alone if it’s good, but packaging sells!

Any questions? Please contact Us. Thanks.

Beer. Design. Beer. Branding. Beer. Beer. Beer.


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