BUILDING BRAND IDENTITY: WHY & HOW IT MATTERS
Now that we are entering a recovery period, brands have to reimagine their future in a post-COVID world and marketers have to be ready with a new strategy.
Building a brand is a long journey. It happens over decades and in some cases generations. It doesn’t happen in one day. Rohit Gera, Managing Director, Gera Developments Pvt Ltd was of the view that in the real estate sector customers are now gravitating towards developers who have a track record of delivery. “Covid has accelerated customer’s inclination towards brand names, mainly because they have cash flows in place and can provide delivery on time.”
Mohit Mishra, Chief Marketing Officer- Office Business, DLF Ltd mentioned, “DLF which was founded in 1946 pre-independence time, is a historic brand so all our branding initiatives have to be based on the core values of the brand. During covid, the focus was not on selling but to accelerate engagement. When things started getting back to normal that was when lead generation started. Brand value helps in attracting customers and this is what helped us during covid.”
Rashid Sait, Vice President & Managing Director, George P. Johnson’s Experience Marketing India said, “Real estate industry is no different from any other sector. Challenges are the same as also the opportunities. For instance, the virtual events has increased the reach to a larger audience compared to the physical events. The digital revolution has transformed communication as we knew it. Today, invitations are video messages. Today every company must have a Facebook page and social presence. “
Tanvi Bhatt, Founder, Tanvi Bhatt International said, “Pandemic has shifted the focus to thought leadership development and creating a human dimension of brand’s presence. Nowadays everything is virtual and therefore, the corporate will have to infuse more compassion, candour and conscious leadership as a part of the thought leadership manifestation.”
Tanya Khanna, Founder, Epistle Communication agreed, “Authenticity of the brand is what has taken predominance over everything in the last year. We work with a lot of architects who till now were resistant to the idea of PR. With digital domain presence, they now are grasping the importance of being visible on social platforms to share their brand story.”
Vikram Kotnis, Managing Director, Sell.Do & Amura Marketing Technologies said, “In the past 12 years I have seen all the sides of real estate from software adoption to technology to the developers who agreed to take software seriously. Brands who used influencer marketing to convey their message did great. While, smaller brands moved to digital platforms to take advantage of the enhanced reach.”
Govind Rai, Co-Founder, Insomniacs added, “Yes brands have moved towards digital marketing. Now it is customer driven. Big brands have started working towards adopting technology for creating interfaces which will engage with paperless transactions. But, we are still exploring how to add technology to enhance customer experience.”
Three dimensions of brand communications whether it’s a B2B or a B2C brand that have been adapted in brand storytelling are – Firstly, conscious branding of who you are and what your brand is all about from leadership perspective. Second, candid communication of leadership’s journey and footprints. Third, authenticity in leadership communication when it comes to personal brand management.
WHEN DIGITAL TAKES OVER
When you are looking at branding initiatives for a brand it is important to add the values as practiced by that brand. For instance as Rohit Gera explained, “Our recent tagline is “Let’s Outdo” that works within the organisation and motivates people internally to go out and do something extraordinary. This outdo campaign worked very well for us. Around 15 years ago we had a campaign called “Building with IQ” and we called IQ as `Innovation Quotient. Celebrity endorsements do not work unless they are involved with the project. We have taken celebrities for our campaigns like Mahesh Bhupathi, Vishwanathan Anand, Shiamak Davar and Anil Kumble as we have tied up with them to run their academy’s in our project.”
Mohit Mishra said, “Last year was a very difficult time for all our commercial realty tenants. Thus, all our campaigns last year had given priority to wellness and safety. We did consumer facing campaign called “Safest comeback with DLF” that yielded fantastic results with many large tenant companies bringing back their employees to work.”
Vikram Kotnis said, “There are a couple of campaigns such as the “Gera child centric homes” which did extremely well. For the first time somebody really thought about the problems that parents had with kids education and extracurricular activities. It was success as the product delivere what it promised in the campaign.
Tanya Khanna mentioned, “We ran a campaign in the middle of the lockdown called “Let’s talk design for a stone brand. Intent was that in times of social distancing how do you bring together the design community. It exceeded the expectations and grew in scale across channels as it nailed the need of the times.”
Govind Rai gave example of his campaign for Hiranandani Developers called “A feeling for a lifetime.” “They are known for their design and architectural marvels and therefore its project are where people aspire to live. This feeling was amalgamated in the campaign. .
Rashid Sait pointed out that unlike Trump Towers that had Donald Trump’s personal branding as campaign for his real estate brand and that really worked well, Indian market has not seen “personal branding” concepts.
Tanvi Bhatt shared, “Corporations do not invest in building leaders as brand ambassadors of their organisation or faces of their organisations. Family owned business are very conservative. In the past few years I have seen a lot of aspiring leaders who are in c-suite roles across Indian real estate segment to take up the mantle of wanting to be more visible, be more vocal and influential.
Buying a home is a big responsibility, brands need to be careful with their content for the campaigns. Choosing the right social media platform is very important for your brand. Thought leadership is very important for any company. A brand is nothing but a thought leadership of what it manifests, which differentiates it from other peers.