ARD Estates marketing communications
ARD Estates is a Hyderabad-based real estate developer, with an 18-year track record of both residential and commercial projects. ARD Estates has completed projects in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and Mysore and are looking to advance to the next stage – creating a strong brand.
Rezonant’s task was to understand ARD Estates and create a unique brand identity that prospective stakeholders would identify with. Apart form branding ARD estates itself, we were also required to extend this identity to their upcoming projects.
Creating a brand for the Real Estate market is always tricky, due to the large number of competitors. With most of these organizations putting out messaging that is similar in their tone, there is very little room to create a brand that will stand out amidst the clutter and at the same time connect uniquely with the target audience.
To further our challenge, creating a visual identity for ARD was also something that needed to be fresh and while it needed to stay away from the prevalent stock-image-heavy style of real estate ads in India, it had to retain some of the flavor so as not to alienate consumers.
Research & Strategy
When compared to most Indian metros, Hyderabad’s retail market is still growing rapidly. There are a number of players in the local market, which, due to its close-knit nature, has minimal brand efforts being made. We had to create a brand that would resonate with the close-knit community of Hyderabad and at the same time, stand out in the overall Indian retail landscape.
Background: The Indian real estate industry was drawing severe media attention at the time, for a number of cases of malpractice and oversight. Builders were being given a bad name and the popular opinion being expressed was that they were not to be trusted. Potential stakeholders were skeptical about investing in real estate. The ARD brand had to address this, but do so in a subtle manner that reassured the customer.
ARD’s reputation: Though the rest of the retail industry was facing a severe backlash, ARD had still maintained its reputation as being trustworthy. From our interactions with its people, we learnt that they took special care to deliver their projects. Their organization did not have complex hierarchies and they prided themselves in their customer service. This fact provided us with the starting point for our rebranding process.
ARD Positioning: For a brand to stand firmly, it requires deep roots. This can only be achieved if the brand catches the attention of its target audience. With ARD, we knew that to create a consistent brand experience, all communication had to be unified somehow. This is achieved through the right positioning.
Brand positioning is the ‘Why’ of a brand – the promise it makes to potential stakeholders. In the case of ARD Estates, this was a crucial stage, where we could make a clear distinction and set it apart from other real estate companies in India. Our research had told us that the real estate market was becoming cold and driven by figures. In an industry where the human element was slowly being compromised, AR Estates was still striving for what their customers wanted. We used this fact to coin our positioning line –
“Built With Heart”
Project Positioning: ARD Estates was about to launch a new real estate project in Mysore –Sylvan Greens. This was the perfect opportunity to take the next steps with Brand ARD and give it footing. For our communication, we extended the theme of the human element to the project as well. For this, we created another project-specific positioning line, which would be independent of ARD Estates, but at the same time, retain the core philosophy of the company. The line was also required to communicate the basic information about the project – Where is it located? What sort of project is it? The positioning line for the project was – Life Spreads in Mysore.
Illustration Style: We needed to crate a unique visual style that echoed ARD Estates’ philosophy. Something that communicated that the projects were built with heart and at the same time highlight the features of ARD’s properties.
People have a tendency to think back on the past and compare it to the future. By and large, things are always considered to be worsening. With the visual style, we wanted to show people that real estate could be simple, as it is in principle – and that buying a house is nothing but getting a new home. To show this, we chose to envision our creative material in the style of paper cutouts – something that struck a nostalgia chord and also clearly depicted ARD’s offering.
Creatives: For the creative, we used our visual style to recreate different moments that most people would have gone through in their lives – from gazing up at the stars from a balcony to retrieving a kite from a tree – we drew attention to the fact that these were what made a home. By doing this, not only were we able to give ARD a distinct visual style, but it also perfectly captured their philosophy – built with heart.