06.16.2016

Is Your Design Rooted in Brand?

Brand Endurance Within Retail Real Estate

By Jesse Pixler, Creative Director
 
For some in retail real estate, brand marketing begins (and ends) with a logo and tagline.

Those logos evolve over time, and various campaigns inevitably push these “brands” forward by accident. But at the end of the day, there’s little connection between these efforts and the company’s goals, vision or strategies.

This is problematic for developers and retailers, alike.

When your marketing isn’t rooted in brand, it can’t sustain success for the long-term. When your design isn’t rooted in brand, it won’t have the strength to adapt and endure seasonal campaigns, new marketing executions, or on-site additions. You’ll be essentially creating a new “brand” with every new season, every new leasing brochure, or every new property. That’s not only a waste of time and money, it inhibits your ability to create momentum.

This is precisely why premier retail properties and successful retailers stay on top. They’ve gone through a smart brand development process that allows for seamless evolution and continuous momentum.

I can only speak on behalf of our clients, but we have had a great deal of success in creating brands that endure for those who are willing to undergo the brand development process with us. When done correctly, creative design should resonate through any campaign, any execution, and with any audience because the brand is true.

Take, for example, our client Galleria Dallas. When we took Galleria Dallas through the brand process several years ago, we tapped into and staked a claim to the client’s heart and soul: Dallas.

The external brand positioning tagline—“As Big and Bold as Dallas Itself”—and the accompanying campaign were a smashing success, in part because the brand was deeply rooted in everything Galleria stood for. Since the brand revival a few years ago, Galleria Dallas is back and bolder than ever. With every new season, Galleria Dallas executes another brilliant and beautiful campaign.

And here’s the best part: From a design standpoint, whether it’s a glossy print ad or a business-focused leasing brochure, the essence of Galleria Dallas is front and center.

Here’s an ad we designed for Galleria Dallas in D Magazine last year.

 

Galleria Zara - Screenshot

 

Notice the striking, bold photography that instantly impresses fashion and sophistication, as well as the lack of explanatory copy. It’s all intentional. This campaign speaks for itself, much like the boldness of Dallas itself. This is how the Galleria Dallas brand is expressed in print, and this campaign (like others from Galleria) stands confidently on its own because its brand is omnipresent.

 

Galleria Brochure - Screenshot

 

Now look at a page from Galleria Dallas’ leasing brochure. Because it’s a business-facing piece, information and explanatory copy is absolutely critical. Notice the treatment of copy sections, and how we expressed Galleria Dallas in this business-to-business execution. It’s a sales piece, but it’s still sexy. Meanwhile, the photography also evokes different sensations: action and hustle. Even the map graphic simply feels like Galleria Dallas, giving function and form the same level of priority.

Despite having completely different audiences and distinct stories, the two designs are familial. In fact, you will see the same sort of kindred likeness in every seasonal campaign, too—the fresh yet recognizable sense of brand in any execution for any audience. Smart brand development empowers your marketing efforts to evolve and thrive through space and time.

So here’s the big question: Will your design elements survive the test of time? Will your brand shine through and connect with your audience, regardless of the marketing tactic? Is there enough strategic substance behind your brand to propel your efforts for years to come? If you’ve hesitated in answering any of these, it’s time to find a brand marketing agency.

 

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