Vietnamese developers still remain unfamiliar with that concept of a brand personality at a time that creating and strenghthening real estate and retail brands is more important than ever, the Vietnam Investment Review (VIR) quoted managing director of Red Brand Builders, Chris Elkin, as saying.

At the ‘Power Brand Building with Impact’ seminar held in Hanoi last week, which was co-organised by CBRE Vietnam and Red Brand Builders, experts discussed in-depth and focused measures to provide investors, developers and real estate marketers with a realistic assessment of the situation in the real estate market today

Brand personality, Elkin said, requires a clear message about what developers stand for, and they must have the focus and consistency to see the process through.

He added that building a brand needs consistency from the beginning to the end of a project cycle to showcase a developer’s experience and reputation to ensure the success of a project.

Elkin outlined ways to create, re-position, and add impact to brands for greater success in the marketplace. He also pointed out ways to create and document a distinctive brand personality to build long-term trust and an emotional connection with target customers, and how to consistently communicate brand personality to appeal to target customers at ‘touch points’ that drive sales or leasing.

Brand building is becoming essential to real estate developers in Vietnam. Small and medium-sized firms are trying to launch and cement their brands to expand their presence in the market, while multi-nationals are using targeted approaches to reach specific market segments.

Building brands, according to Elkin, was not just spending money on advertising.

“It’s really fundamental that local and national developers in Vietnam are beginning to see brand building as a strategic priority. This is not something that should be done a few months before you launch, but should start from the very beginning and last to the very end of a project,” he explained.

In the retail segment, brand building has been most notably used in prominent shopping centres such as Hanoi’s Vincom Megamall Royal City, Lotte Hanoi Centre and Ho Chi Minh City’s Crescent Mall and SC Vivo City.

All of these projects, in their own ways, have made their presence known through a consistent, quality brand building strategy.

According to William Badger, associate director of the office service division of CBRE Vietnam, firms must adapt to a changing marketplace and fast evolving customer needs, desires and behaviours to succeed as the market improves.

To be successful in their business, developers must be more flexible and have a serious brand building strategy.

Apart from traditional real estate advertising such as print, show homes, banners and events, Badger said developers must pay more attention to more modern channels such as digital and social media.

Elkin said retailers cannot survive just by being “pass through” sellers. “They have to give consumers clear reasons, an experience to choose their stores over other competitors”.-VNA