Partnerships can boost your project’s brand

Principal Consultant , David Allison Inc.
  • Jun. 29, 2011

Brands in unison can make a powerful statement when it comes to consumer purchases.

We know that.

It’s called co-branding, and marketers have been doing it for donkey’s years, especially in the food and hospitality industry. Breyer’s and Hershey. Bulgari and Ritz-Carlton. Tim Horton’s and Cold Stone Creamery – the most recent brand collaboration for the Canadian franchise will have you walking into to select Tim Horton’s locations to enjoy your own custom ice cream creation with your “Double Double”.

The point is: Co-branding isn’t new. And yet, real estate developments rarely do it.

I think it’s time to change that.

Partnerships can really boost your project’s brand. And make the stories you tell that much more compelling to potential homebuyers. There’s no reason not to do it.

By way of example, let’s take a look at the relationship between one of our clients,Tsawwassen Springs , and FortisBC.

The master-planned golf resort community in Tsawwassen, BC includes a number of green features in its design. One such feature is a geo-exchange system, that is standard in every condo.

It’s a highly efficient, cost-saving system that works with nature to heat or cool a home. And the team at Tsawwassen Springs has given the technology a whole new level of credibility by having FortisBC – BC’s natural gas, electricity and energy solutions provider – back it.

The partnership is a win-win. FortisBC gets exposure. They get to put their name on a high-profile development. (The investor group behind Tsawwassen Springs includes Pat Quinn, Canada’s 2002 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey Coach; Bruce Allen, music industry leader; and world famous musician, Michael Bublé.) And their logo appears on the Tsawwassen Springs website as well as in any promotional material that deals with Tsawwassen Springs’ geo-exchange system.

At the same time, FortisBC is pushing the benefits of geothermal heating to a number of interested consumers as part of their own agenda. As one of a few new geothermal developments, Tsawwassen Springs reaps the rewards.

And it’s simple. This isn’t a relationship that is demanding too much from either party. Tsawwassen Springs is merely taking one of the strongest elements of its product and combining it with the best complementary brand to offer an even better product and service. It’s a classic example of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts. Nice.

You could easily choose to partner with a firm when it comes to your interior specs as well.

Here in Vancouver, Inform Projects is a well-known product installation firm that specializes in high-end, European kitchens, bathrooms and closets. Just the mention of the Inform name adds a level of prestige to any real estate offering, while Inform in turn, is able to show off their work to hundreds of new clients.

Inform’s involvement gives homeowners peace of mind, too. They know they can contact the original installation firm and order a new cabinet face or hinge should something happen to their carefully crafted kitchen or bathroom cabinetry.

Co-branding partnerships can, and should, be an attractive option for real estate marketing campaigns.

So where can you begin?

A good place to start generating ideas is by thinking about other types of companies that do a good job serving your target market. And make sure you pick a partner that’s a good fit with your company’s products, values and image. It’s about looking for brand fit not only from the perspective of attributes and benefits but also with respect to your core values and corporate philosophies.

You can always ask homeowners who they would like to see involved as well. If there is a company or product you think could work with your product offering, find out how many of your potential homebuyers might be interested in them.

Have you partnered with another brand to promote your real estate project? I’d love to hear more about it. Any lessons learned? It would be great to share them here.



David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

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David Allison works with executive teams in real estate development and other industries to craft the early-stage vision and brand for projects of all kinds. He crystallizes the most interesting…

Read more




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