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Building brands in challenging times

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​‘As deverellsmith rolls out a new suite of services, we asked gt&i, the brand consultancy behind ‘The Right People’ for their views on the role of the brand in today’s turbulent times.’

At gt&i we provide strategic brand consultancy to clients ranging from Savills to the Tui owned estate of Castelfalfi, in the heart of Tuscany. We work with and have branded closer to home developers including St George and Barratt Group.

One thing has become clear. As developers look to shift their focus and land banks to match movement in buyer sentiment and investor motivation, the brand becomes a critical enabler. It is the ‘front of house’ in times of change, smoothing the introduction of new products and giving confidence to the cautious investor.

This is for the simple reason that intrinsic to a strong brand, is a promise fulfilled. The brand is made up of heritage and expertise, trust, innovation and principle, all underpinned by a track record of achievement. That is why a strong brand makes for an appealing partner; it evidences an ability to grow, to evolve and to endure.

Our clients also tend to endure, and that has enabled us to see brands we created stretch their offer. This is often into new geographic markets, audience groups and even vertical sectors, all whilst bringing the business stakeholders on the journey.

Take developer London Square, whom we first branded and work with today. Its heritage is in the city of London, but its brand has enabled it to step into the refurbishment of Richmond Hill’s famed Star and Garter, and further afield, into the commuter belt. Here it offers affordable family housing from a brand that is both trusted and encourages engagement through aspiration.

Or, take super-prime developer Clivedale whose first ventures include Mayfair Park Residences and the Residences at Mandarin Oriental. Today it is synonymous with lifestyle, enabling Clivedale to manage superyacht Joy at the same time as develop London’s finest office address at 73-77 Brook Street.

A brand should be carefully considered at the outset, should evolve with the business and infuse everything that business does. And in this last point, in the interactions with staff and customers alike, does it reveal its real power. The power to build long lasting relationships and to add value to the balance sheet.

Written by Tim Lewis

Tim Lewis is a creative strategist with twenty years-experience in PR, marketing and business development. Tim brings a unique blend of energy and insight to the development of business propositions that create clear differentiation in cluttered markets – and in defining the offer for disruptive businesses.

Launching the UK’s first CSR agency in 1994 with clients including Shell, Mazda, Greenergy Fuels and The Carbon Neutral Company; Tim cemented his reputation for developing effective stakeholder campaigns and identifying new market trends.

He went on to co-found markcomms agency Four Communications managing campaigns across lifestyle, travel and business sectors. His client portfolio included Etihad, Country Life, Club Med, Shaftesbury Estate, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and TNT Post.