When it comes to selling a project, many real estate developers tend to resort to both, brand endorsement and brand engagement. We look at how buyers should evaluate such practices, while choosing a property
In the past many celebrities like international football star Zinedine Zidane; actors Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Deepika Padukone, Shah Rukh Khan, Akshay Kumar and Twinkle Khanna; cricketers MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, Virat Kohli, have been roped in as brand ambassadors for real estate projects. This form of endorsement, serves to make the brand identifiable. On the other hand, various engagement activities carried out by developers, help the developers to gain valuable insights about their potential buyers and vice-versa. Manish Advani, head of marketing and public relations, Mahindra Special Services, points out that a successful person advocating a product, can serve to influence a common man to buy that product. “As a result, ad campaigns featuring actors and sportsperson are quite common, to generate awareness about the product among home buyers during the launch period,” he explains.
The difference between brand endorsement and brand engagement in real estate
Dhaval Shah, joint managing director of the Parinee Group says that brand endorsement is the first step, towards propagating the brand and reaching out to the target audience. “Brand endorsements have the purpose of making it identifiable, while engagements are an effective form of marketing research, where the developer gets to know the demands and needs of the potential buyer. Thus, both are essential for the brand, to develop and create a positive impact on the minds of the target audience,” he maintains.
According to Aditya Kedia, managing director of Transcon Developers, brand engagement and brand endorsement are two sides of the same coin. “Brand engagement is nothing but a form of advertising and marketing, wherein, the builders and developers put in efforts to understand the real estate demands coming from potential buyers, their budget and the kind of amenities that they prefer having in a property. In the case of brand endorsement, the developers leave no stone unturned, in giving a prominent identity to their brand and thereby, creating a strong brand recall value in the minds of the buyers. These methods help in reaching out to the target audience, with the aim of boosting real estate sales,” he elaborates.
What can home buyers learn from brand endorsement/engagement?
So, what does this mean for a buyer who is looking for a house? Girish Shah, executive director, marketing and corporate communications, Knight Frank India, says: “Definitely, endorsements are undertaken by developers, to create more mind space with potential customers but that should not be the only reason for purchase.” Moreover, celebrity endorsements may work well for luxury and ultra-luxury projects but the same need not apply to the affordable housing segment. Experts maintain that buyers should always consider both, brand engagement and brand endorsement, while evaluating a project. The best way to approach a sale, is through proper due diligence. Buyers should also consider other factors like the brand’s image in the market, the budget, possession date and other legal formalities. The buyers should also check the RERA registration number, to avail of more information and to ensure that the project is RERA certified.
Can brand engagement/ brand endorsement alone drive real estate sales?
It is very important for developers to engage people through public platforms like social media and consumer initiatives, which will help people to understand the brand and its services better.
As Rahul Shah, CEO of the Sumer Group, explains “Nowadays, people tend to look online for most things, even when it comes to buying a house. People will always buy something that they can trust. So, it is important for the developers to maintain the brand’s image, both, online and offline. Brand endorsement has worked for many players in the industry, while brand engagement will always give you the right reach and you will garner genuine buyers.”