Stakeholder Engagements: Playing a Pivotal Role in Realty Brand Building
One of the biggest challenges in many industries is the trust deficit that exists between companies and their stakeholders, which includes customers. The real estate sector is no exception to this problem, with many customers and other stakeholders generally perceiving the company and its actions with scepticism, if not downright suspicion. Such negative perceptions naturally impact the brand image of companies.
It would be simplistic for the companies under a cloud of suspicion to blame their stakeholders or vice versa. Instead, it’s necessary to analyse and understand why stakeholders generally perceive in a negative manner, thereby eroding brand value. One of the primary reasons for the trust deficit and low brand image is the lack of stakeholder engagement.
KV Developers (KVD) has grasped this problem quite early since its inception. The Company has therefore institutionalised periodic stakeholder engagements as part of its regular activities. Accordingly, customers, vendors, lenders and other stakeholders are invited regularly to these activities, during which they can interact directly with the Company’s top management and other senior staff. In the course of such interactions, even if some stakeholders broach inconvenient topics, it is imperative they are given a patient hearing so their point of view can be appreciated.
Once this happens, it’s important that Company representatives offer some sound solution(s) to address their issues. If stakeholders had arrived for this engagement with high levels of distrust, one can rest assured that after they depart from these interactions, the level of distrust would have dipped dramatically.
The question for some companies would then be: is it possible to hold periodic activities that involve various stakeholders? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes!’ In fact, KV Developers has been holding such activities on a regular basis where stakeholders are invited and end up participating wholeheartedly.
Benefits of Active Engagement
For example, Indians roads are notorious for being the most dangerous in the world. Consequently, traffic accidents take a tremendous toll on pedestrians as well as drivers and other occupants, with more than 200,000 fatalities being reported annually as per World Health Organisation statistics. Keeping these facts in mind, KVD promoted a Traffic Rules Safety Awareness initiative on 13 May 2015 in various locations of Noida in association with Rotary Club of Ghaziabad and Aster Public School. During the day-long activity, KVD partnered with the Noida Traffic Police to highlight the importance of road safety and observance of traffic rules.
Earlier in April 2015, KVD had organised a free health check-up and blood donation camp at their project site in Tech Zone 4, Greater Noida West, in association with Rotary Club of Ghaziabad and Jaypee Hospital, who are leaders with a social cause in their respective fields. During this health drive, almost 150 people participated in the blood donation and health check-up activity.
To further strengthen its bonds with customers and enjoy festivities of the season with its extended family of stakeholders, KVD organised the Teej Mela Celebration on 14 August 2015. Around this time, for the second year in succession, the Company organised a Dandiya Night for all stakeholders. Needless to mention, both events were a resounding success with stakeholders participating in large numbers and with a spirit of exuberance.
Similarly, along with Independence Day celebrations in August, an innovative drawing competition was held for students of Aster Public School in Greater Noida. Simultaneously, commemorating Independence Day, an online contest was held via Facebook, where participants were asked to share their views on Independence Day and Wellness. With hundreds of entries from various sections of society, the winners of this contest were awarded exercise bicycles and electronic home appliances.
In the same month, a ‘Healthy Living, Healthy Giving’ campaign was held with the planting of trees and promotion of social awareness, executed through the support of local RWAs (Residents’ Welfare Associations).
Continuing the Out of Box practice, KVD organised various contests on different occasions on very touching thoughts like; Facebook contest on Diwali “DiwaliKePal” in November. Where in the participants were asked to share their best Diwali moments.
Twitter Contest “#FamilyKeSaath” in December 2015, where concept was to share the best moments spent with family. Twitter contest “#LoveForWinters” in December 2015, to keep people engage and share their love for chilling winters, Another Facebook contest “NewYearGreetings” during newyear which ended on 04 Jan 2016. Participants in this were asked to wish Happy New Near to near and dear ones with a message and tag them. The best 3 entries were to win big prizes.
Twitter Contest which concluded on 14th Jan on the occasion of Lohri “#CelebrateLohri”
Again with an amazing contest going on from 23rd Jan on “RepublicDay”, Share a message for our brave soldiers who are protecting us at the borders.
KVD received tremendous response for all contest, people not just participated but encouraged their family and friends to be the part. Winners of “DiwaliKePal” were given the prizes in an event at Project site KVD WindPark. The winners of Twitter contest were given gift vouchers of Big Bazar.
Through all these activities, KVD customers and stakeholders participated enthusiastically, building a stronger bond with the company. This has created an extremely positive ambience in the Company’s offices, engendering an atmosphere of trust and receptivity between KVD and its external stakeholders, while ensuring tremendous goodwill for the KVD brand.