Brand Philosophy – your brand is not your logo

By Michael Goodgold

“Please, Goodgold, build me a great brand!”

Real Estate Arts helps clients build strong and meaningful brands that stand the test of time

"Goodgold please build me a brand"

I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I have heard this. Last week, I heard a similar request: “I want our property to be held in such high regard as the Chrysler Building … or wait, maybe even the GM Building. I want it to be iconic and in high demand. So tell me, Goodgold, what do we have to do?”

I always have a big smile on my face upon hearing this question, because I love the thinking it evokes. It is a fundamental question for any attentive business leader. What does it take to create a great brand? What’s the blueprint?

It’s not an easy question to answer. It’s almost like asking, what’s the formula for creating another Google or Apple? While it’s not easy to recreate that lighting in a bottle, there are some fundamental principles that great brands have in common.

The first step is conceptual: What is the core idea for the brand? Why does your company/property/service exist outside of making money?

Take Nike, for example. Nike’s brand aims to evoke the emotion of competition, winning, and crushing competitors: “Just do it.” That certainly goes beyond running shoes and gym clothes. And Walt Disney isn’t just about cartoons. Their brand is to make people happy. There’s a bigger picture behind these companies’ thought processes: they want to capture an emotion in their audience.

A few more examples: The Marriott wants to make people who are away from home feel like they are among friends. Merck’s brand is to preserve and improve human life.

Every year, we observe the unique DNA of great brands like these, so that I’m always well-prepared to dive into answering my clients’ initial question: “What do we have to do?”

Let’s start with the idea, and the emotion that will guide our audience through their experience with the product.

My clients usually say, “We understand brands in the corporate world … but what about a property?”

I always respond with a loud yes! Your property can be special for more than its architecture (or lack thereof). Your property can even go beyond its location. How you approach the property and filter it through the brand idea can transform people’s experience.

Just take Sanzari’s Glenpointe for example. This is a business complex unlike any other in New Jersey, consisting of two Class A office towers connected by stunning common areas, a hotel convention center, multiple dining facilities, a full service gym, spa, and swimming pool. This creates a dynamic environment that’s not easily duplicated. But what is even more exciting than this list of incredible amenities is the philosophy behind Glenpointe’s owners and key executives. For them, Glenpointe isn’t just about the amenity package—it represents an environment where high performance thrives. A company that chooses to locate an office there exposes its employees to an empowering “ecosystem,” which results in people reaching their professional and personal goals more effectively.

So properties, too, can employ a brand to convey an emotion, capture an audience, become something more than a building or location. The philosophy of Glenpointe is to cultivate a sense of high performance—as well as happiness and well-being—among the people who live, work, and stay there.

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