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Branding the “Brand”

The most common, equally, valid question, of my career has been: why bring on a brand agency when I am (developer) paying for a brand name?

Over the years, I have been involved in and managed multiple new mixed-use development projects, a good portion with a luxury flag.

It has been my experience, during this time, that there are certain verities that ingeminate:

1. Every developer has the best site;
2. Developers pay for the luxury flag to operate the hotel, occasionally, with some kind of a service component for the residences;
3. The marketing fees included in the management agreements are not allocated to market or sell the condos;
4. Developers expect, in return, an additional 15-25% mark up over the premium projects in a given market.

Given these typical state-of-affairs combined with the attitudes of the (refined and worldly) affluent clientele with copious choices, today, success lies in the ability to see and communicate the bigger picture and the story-at-large; including:

1. The unique vision of the developer
2. The essence, beauty and culture of the place rather than coordinates of the location
3. Longevity, credibility, quality of the team and the sustainability of the project and place
4. The design, service and lifestyle partners that create an experience that is above and beyond the promise of the particular flag

In other words, how does the reputation and standards of a particular hotel flag combined with the proposed program inspire and heighten the quotidian activities and standards of living and contribute to the enjoyment of life for the owners? What makes the point one person feel and decide that this is where they want to invest, not just stay?  Perhaps, we think of it in dating vs marriage terms. One may date the hottest women, yet, chose a partner with different qualities than looks for the long term.

Five steps to successfully marketing hospitality branded residences:

  1. Prioritize and Synthesize: how does the flag and the assets live together in the simplest, yet, most desirable terms
  2. Translate: why does this flag belong here and how do its values translate in this specific location?
  3. Articulate: is your narrative strongly rooted and fully informed by your flag, yet, completely different then all of its other locations? Is your tone and language distinct, succinct, original, and true to its experience?
  4.  Express: how does your audience want to know of this opportunity? from their best friends? trusted advisors? discover it on their own?
  5. Tend and Nurture: listen to your team, your audience, your market. Tweak your messaging, alter your design, rechart your goals, as often as needed.