A brand, simply defined, is your reputation multiplied by your visibility. If your positive reputation resides only in your mind and in none of your potential brand audiences’, your brand isn’t likely to help you attract investors or customers for your product. If you have a negative reputation and everyone knows who you are, this goes doubly so. The end-goal, hopefully, is to be well-known for your great reputation.
In this article, we will cover a handful of strategies that a developer can take in order to enhance and protect their brand, increase their visibility, and ultimately drive better project opportunities.
This is the fourth installment in our continuing series on brand enhancement. In this series, we cover the basics of branding, why it is so important to a developer, and how a developer can use several strategies to increase long-term business through their image. If you’ve found this article of use, you may find the rest of the rest of the series of use as well.
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Do no harm
This works as well in developing as it does in life. The meaning behind it is to make decisions that do not result in situations that are ‘win and lose.’ In practice, this means adding to the neighborhood when matching a vision to a site and taking into account the needs of your target demographics.
“Harm” can be categorized as anything that packages your product in a negative way, and that conveys a message to the public of an uncaring entity that only seeks profit. Design can play a huge role in this, so make sure that you and your architect create a design that is perceived as contributing to its neighborhood and community and not damaging.
Brand protection entails following a mission developed to balance costs and outcome. It can be viewed as a self-focused dimension of doing no harm that is directed at protecting whatever brand equity that you as a developer have accrued. At a minimum, you want to have brand protection strategies that maintain the hard-earned brand equity that you have obtained with your target audiences.
In opposition to our last point, brand enhancement revolves around being conscious of exactly what could positively affect your target markets. Brand enhancement is most efficiently achieved with a clear understanding of what actual and potential brand attributes are the most relevant with each of your target brand audiences. From these desired brand descriptions, the appropriate brand attributes can be retained and aspirational attributes can be incorporated into each new development.
This will manifest in your brand being associated with these features, and ultimately result with an association between your development organization and your ideal brand qualities. Market research is key here. Linking demographic-driven expectations and amenities with the design of your vision, your budget, and your target yield will allow you the guiding hand for all decisions that follow.
A brand-driven strategy is a way of integrating cost-effective and value-effective strategies to create a strong name for your business. The most concise way to describe it is in choosing development projects that are manifestations of what your brand represents, and continuing to make decisions throughout the entire process that go hand-in-hand with this image.
At the heart of this is the understanding that your brand is more valuable than maximizing the profit earned from a single project, and this means strategically investing profits back into your brand with every project. The more that is invested in the brand, the more profit there will be in the future when your image pays off.