Property Branding and the art of creating an evocative sense of place

Communicating the Vision
As a brand strategy and identity design agency who has worked for a number of years in the property development space, we understand the challenge of creating a sense of the promise and vision of a place that will one day be a vibrant community, but is most likely currently a barren field. The same challenge is faced by developers and development marketers whether they are creating a one hundred apartment shanghai building, of a ten thousand home community – how do a create a powerful sense of our vision so that a customer is drawn inexplicably to our project and not to one of our competitors?

Tellingly, in the decade and a bit that we’ve been working with some of Australia’s leading property developers and creators of planned communities, the game has changed substantially. When we first worked in the market there was a clear leader who was building communities substantially better than everyone else. From planning, to marketing, from creating a sense of the vision to delivering the promise, this particular player were streets ahead of their competitors as we were only too painfully aware having been employed by one such competitor to bridge the gap.

As with all markets however, time and competitive forces will almost certainly close the gap on all but the most innovative of businesses, and that is what we’ve seen happen over the past decade. We now work with the market leader, and in our research of competitors for each project we are struck by the extent to which the things that made our clients the market leader are now table stakes. From the masterplan to the marketing, the majority of property developments are now selling all-but identical offers to the market.

Creating a Sense of Place
A great area of opportunity for the marketing of new property developments is in the creation of a strong and evocative sense of place. Whilst most projects go to market with a similar pitch, similar offer and similar quality of marketing material, I believe that those developers who can more evocatively connect their customers with a sense of place will have a powerful unfair advantage over their competitors.

With that thought in mind I was moved by the potency of the photographic images of Paris-born artist Noemie Goudal.

Across her work, Goudal frequently utilises large-scale paper backdrops, juxtaposed closely with the existing landscape and blurring the bounds of the real and the fictional.

The works themselves have a melancholic, almost nostalgic quality, inviting the viewer into imaginary worlds whose reality then betrays him: the promise of a waterfall that upon closer look is just plastic sheets; an open port to sea that is ultimately lodged too firmly in the rafters of an abandoned shed. Goudal is also careful to closely integrate the physical space with her hanging backdrops.

The artist reflects: ‘I wish to offer through my photographs escapes into alternative landscapes where the reconstruction of new lands is made possible. the journey inside the image will invite the viewer to enter the space as well as entering the narrative of a ‘make-believe’, bringing him into the game between fiction and reality in which one can identify the fragility of one’s own desires.

Having spent more than a few hours scratching our heads at new ways to create the place brand visual language and marketing for a whole range of development projects, Goudal’s work represents a breath of fresh air, a gentler, more evocative way in which to create a promise of a sense of place

Dave Ansett, Brandamentalist
Creator of Evocative Place Brand

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  1. Absolutely gorgeous images… Such a relatively simple idea but incredibly executed!

    I’ve always loved what we do as marketers & designers, in having the ability to create an entire lifestyle for a client, where they may in fact be, as in this case, standing on a barren plot of land but completely smitten with the possibilities presented to them 🙂

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