We seem to have become one the UK’s major estate agency branding specialists over the last few years. And why not, afterall the principles involved in creating an estate agency brand – whether it’s for a chain of estate agents or a one office business – are exactly the same as for creating the brand for a high street retail chain.
You still need a compelling brand proposition, powerful graphic design and your brand’s values need to be lived at every brand touch point – not least the brand language and tone-of-voice used through all communications from the website, through to brochures and property guide advertising.
Perhaps the main challenge that is particular to the estate agency industry is ensuring that the branding of For Sale and Lettings boards stands out against not only other agent’s boards but also the flora and fawna of the gardens in which they appear. It often means working counter-intuitively – tactically – working backwards, with the board design informing the creation of the brand.
We came up with an interesting branding solution for Finderkeepers, who are the largest lettings chain in Oxfordshire. Our aim in redeveloping their brand was to position them as the friendly, accessible, independent alternative to national agency chains. In this sense we used colour strategically in order to get the boards and vehicle branding right. Five core brand colours were selected and each board or vehicle uses on of them. So on one road it’s quite possible to see five different coloured boards that are all still clearly from one brand.
This branding approach has worked particularly well. Research has shown that, due to the novelty and visibility, their boards are more recognised and “appear to be everywhere…”.