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Branding and MArketing induring crisies

Real Estate Branding in Cyprus: A Sardine Can or an Ocean of Opportunity?

Drive down any Cypriot highway and you’re bombarded with billboards, all screaming 'luxury real estate' or 'unmissable investment opportunity'. But let's be honest, it's a facade. Most of these companies sing the same tune, resulting in a confusing and monotonous noise.
Jan 26th, 2024
2 min read
The Saturation of the MarketThe Problem with Branding and Marketing in Real EstateLet's Dissect the Branding Problem FurtherBut why is this Important?Conclusion
The Cypriot real estate sector has witnessed a rapid influx of new entrants. From small, family-run firms to large-scale developers, the market is teeming with players. This saturation is a double-edged sword.

While it offers potential buyers and investors a wide array of choices, it simultaneously raises questions about market sustainability and, most importantly, market differentiation.

Real estate in Cyprus is a fascinating topic.

It contributes to 15% of the country's GVA, employs thousands of people, and attracts investments worldwide, which is vital for a small Mediterranean island with little of no manufacturing.However, it's also a market lacking transparency, innovation and is historically clouded by scandals, like the tragically famous passport scandal (Right Jho Low?).
The problem with branding and marketing in real estate:
The only way to achieve a return on investment in marketing is to be truly different and distinct, the complete opposite of what's happening with the majority of Real Estate companies.

Most billboards on the highway are not strategic marketing campaigns but vanity shows with the sole purpose of shouting their name louder than the neighbours. It’s a race to the bottom marked by a complete lack of efficiency.
Let's dissect the branding problem further:
Naming: It all starts here, yes we all judge a book by its cover. Countless companies use cliché words in their naming, such as 'prime', 'quality', 'infinity', 'green', 'one', 'first class', 'first choice', ‘invest’, ‘value’ and so on, creating a perception that lacks depth and uniqueness.

Having a positive adjective on a name will not generate a positive impression, it simply doesn't work this way.

Logos: The key representation and identification of a company.  It appears that most logos are sourced from the same, stock website. It's a visual orgy of stylised skyscrapers, rectangles, house icons and wavy lines.
These are the actual logos of different companies operating in Cyprus:
Here's a research page for Real Estate logos on a stock image provider:
Having interchangeable or stock logos is a colossal waste of resources, it dilutes brand identity to the point where consumers can't differentiate or remember your company.

A cheap, unoriginal and cliche stock logo is not the best perception for a company advertising €300k one-bedroom flats.
Imagine if all car manufacturers used a car icon or similar shapes for their logos, distinguishing your car from your neighbour's would be an impossible task.
Distinctive Assets: The importance of creating ownable design elements cannot be overstated. Think of Mastercard's circles or McDonald's golden arches, these are instantly recognisable symbols driving emotions and opening wallets.

For Cypriot real estate firms, developing such distinctive assets could be a game-changer, setting them apart in a crowded market and embedding their brand in the minds of consumers, driving recurring purchases and fomenting word of mouth.
When faced with a choice, consumers are more likely to gravitate towards the brand they recognise and feel an emotional connection with. A brand they remember and have experienced positively before.

It's about creating a bond that transcends rational decision-making. It's about building a brand experience so powerful that its mere symbol or sound can prompt a purchase.

Messaging: Every developer focuses on luxury properties, but if everything is branded as luxury, it is impossible to define what really embodies that quality. The benchmark is so standardised that even the concept of luxury is losing its true meaning amidst this noise of sameness.

The messaging often lacks focus on value or customer-centricity, further muddying the waters and most websites we visited are interchangeable, take the business name out and it could be any other competing company.

Positioning: The noise and uniformity among companies makes it exceptionally hard to carve a distinctive mental space in customers' minds. With multiple companies occupying the same sector in similar ways, it becomes virtually impossible for customers to differentiate one brand from another.

They will not be able to recall a specific brand when they have a need that brand could solve or when they need to suggest a company to a friend. This is probably the most damaging aspect of not owning a unique positioning.
We are only able to store up to three brands in each category, and if everyone acts and looks the same, this will make storing any company in our brain impossible.
But why is this important?
In a saturated market like Cypriot real estate, differentiation could be a superpower. A study by the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science found that distinctive branding elements improve customer memory structures, and can lead to a higher market share and higher spending.

This means that brands that stand out not only capture attention but also build lasting customer loyalty, a preference which results in better sales Distinctive branding ensures that a brand remains top-of-mind for consumers, crucial in a market as saturated as Cyprus's real estate.
As the real estate sector in Cyprus continues to grow, the opportunity for companies to differentiate themselves and establish a unique market position is immense.
The companies that are bold and innovative enough to zag while everyone else zigs are the ones that will ultimately capture and dominate the market share.