The importance of branding in the built environment

There is no doubting the opportunities in today’s construction industry. The sector alone contributes nearly £90bn to the UK economy, which amounts to 6.7% of the wider total. But have you ever considered how important branding is for site developers and building firms looking to maximise those opportunities?

In this feature we hear from Helen Andrews, account director at RizkMcCay, a creative design and strategic marketing business with a proven track record of helping organisations in the built environment achieve their business objectives.

Attracting investment

Whether it be a housing development, town centre regeneration, new retail offering or educational facilities, ultimately as a site developer, the goal is to attract further investment. Therefore, solid branding and marketing are key disciplines in making a project stand out in an ever-increasing competitive market.

What’s in a brand name?

When working on regeneration projects, we often get asked the question: does the site need a name? And the short answer is yes, if you want it to be taken seriously. The sole aim of a regeneration project is to show the public and stakeholders the huge benefits it is going to bring to the local, regional and wider economy. For more specific developments such as a new retail park or student accommodation, the developer may already have a strong brand concept to link the project to.

Bring in the human element

In order to develop a strong brand concept, we begin this process by thinking about the importance of the scheme to the local area. We then work backwards by analysing the various stakeholders involved and start to develop a set of values. Asking specifically why are they passionate about this development? What makes it different from others? How is it going to change people’s lives?

Where possible, we aim to humanise the brand and give it personality so people can understand exactly why this development is happening in their town or city and how it will benefit them.

Having a strategic marketing plan and robust brand in the built environment can go a long way to not only making a site a success but also winning people over where developments are tricky or slightly contentious.

Here’s a brief recap of the importance of branding in today’s building and construction industries:

  • Helps attract investment – you have a platform to work from
  • A brand name and concept is central to bringing your development to market – without it, you don’t have a product people can become familiar with
  • Brand values speak directly to stakeholders and potential customers and tell your story
  • Humanising a brand gives real relevance to those that the development will have an impact on

Helen Andrews is account director at RizkMcCay