Once a brand has been developed, it is an investment of its own. Your reputation as a developer is worth more than any single project, and just like any other investment, it has to be treated with care. In order to protect a brand, proper care has to be taken during the planning and design stages of a development project.
There are a handful of common threats to a development organization’s brand that run the risk of undoing all of your hard work, so we’ve decided to put together a list of problems to keep an eye out for, and ways to solve each of them.
This is the seventh 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 series of use as well.
For the rest of the series, follow the links below:
A win-lose situation
A very common problem that arises with development projects is a win-lose situation, or a crossroads in which one of the interest parties and the development organization’s interests differ drastically. This often has to do with members of the site’s community feeling that that project is at the expense of the community itself.
For example, a large condo complex that cuts off public passage and views to a beachfront area. While the property may be for sale, may belong to you, everyone in the community may be unhappy that a block has stopped them from being able to see the sunset and replaced it with a max-profit product.
In these situations, alterations in design are a boon. There are always ways to change a vision to encompass situations like this, ideally creating a win-win outcome. Even if it requires compromises that affect your bottom line, look at it as leveraging profits back into your company as an investment. A few projects may not come out max-profit, but when your ever-growing reputation as a responsible developer enables you to fund several larger and more profitable projects at the same time as a result, you’ll be thankful that you did.
Failures and litigation
Nothing tarnishes a record more than post-occupancy building system failures and the associated litigation. While we hope that creating a safe and resistant product before considering your brand was in your cards, it has a significant influence on your ability to protect your name. Having ‘reliable’ attached to your brand is a godsend, and the opposite is a ticket to bankruptcy.
The moral of the story is to not cut corners along the way and take every appropriate safety measure available into your plans and designs.
The simplest way to pin this one down is by burning through the budget or going over schedule by an excessive amount. To an investor, seeing a developer slash their bottom line or close a project early due to issues of this sort is a black mark that will take years to wash off.
Join us in our next post about how to avoid similar risks to this during the planning stage of a development project.