One of the major difficulties in determining a brand personality for any real estate development is limitation of language. It’s hard for a team to agree on a brand personality that is “contemporary” because that word means different things to everyone. But there are ways to get around this.
At my company, we’ve turned to celebrities, cars and music to help us determine project brands, and help everyone feel confident that we all have the same ideas in mind.
Famous people have identifiable brand personalities that can be a great shorthand to talk with your team about your brand. If you can all agree on a famous person with the personality that you would like your real estate brand to have, that’s a great first step. Just try and avoid “safe” personalities like Harrison Ford or Robert Redford. They are nice, but not distinct, so they don’t give you a way to stand out in a crowd. What you are looking for is a personality that is unique and interesting and appropriate to your audience, your stories and your vision.
Automotive companies have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to explain the personality of each of the vehicles they represent. An Audi A8 has a distinct and different personality from a Porsche 911 or Chevy Malibu. Can your team find a car brand that they all agree best presents the personality you want your real estate project brand to have?
Music expresses personality in a very pure and emotional form. If I talk about the Star-Spangled Banner vs. an old jazz standard like I Cover the Waterfront, it’s a simple and expressive shorthand to help a team agree. Be careful to choose a musician, song or style of music that everyone is familiar with. An obscure musical reference that only one or two people know won’t help you reach consensus.
Once you’ve reached an agreement, it’s time to move on and plan how and when you are going to release this branded information into the real estate world.