SEPTEMBER 08, 2020
Leasing an office building isn’t easy these days. Socially distanced tours are not ideal, and some company leaders are weary of taking more space when so many people are working from home.
If you are trying to lease a property in these challenging times, you need a brand that truly illuminates what makes this office building different from the rest of the office buildings. Also, you must tell that brand story consistently both to decision-makers at companies and to tenant brokers.
Ben Friedman, who joined our company in January as SVP to oversee all branding work, and I chatted recently about both branding and PR for office buildings.
Me: What kinds of mistakes do you see office owners make regarding brand?
Ben: Address brands. So many office buildings are named their addresses. Just down the street from our own building is 1776 Peachtree, for instance. What a missed opportunity to reinforce the benefits of a property and to distinguish it from a sea of sameness.
Me: A lot of people think brand is just a name or logo, but it is more than that. How would you define brand in the context of a property?
Ben: Broadly speaking, a brand is the spark that illuminates meaningful difference. It is what you say, what you do, how you look, how you connect with your audiences and how those audiences feel about you.
In the case of an office building, if people prefer to work in your building and if decision-makers are choosing to move their companies to your building, you have built a good brand and told your brand story consistently.
Me: So tactically, how do you build a brand for an office building?
Ben: First, you do the hard work of understanding what makes the building different and better. Is it near transit? Does it have beautiful outdoor green space? Does it have blue-chip prestige in the market? Define that story. Then turn that story into a visual brand – a logo, colors, fonts, etc. And from there, you create marketing assets, such as signage, a website, leasing decks a photography library for social media.
Me: And I would just add that once the brand is built, it is important to get out and tell that brand story every day through media relations and social media.
Ben: Definitely. Do you think anything has changed there during the pandemic?
Me: Especially right now, social media is probably the best way to consistently reach the right audiences. For a lot of office clients, we are doing great social media programs that bring the brand to life every day through compelling, relevant content. Increasingly, we are layering in “dark ad” programs that very tightly target tenant brokers with ads that show up in their feeds.
Ben: Yes, those programs are really resonating with clients. The bottom line is branding, PR and social media are more important than ever for leasing teams. The key is working with professionals who know how to tailor the programs for the leasing team’s needs.
Me: That is true because nobody wants to pay for branding, PR or anything else unless there is a real ROI. That is true now more than ever.
The Wilbert Group
1718 Peachtree Street, Suite 1048
Atlanta, GA 30309
404 748 1250