Your Brand Here...

by Susan L. Stupin, Managing Director, The Prescott Group, LLC.

September 15, 2011 - Is there a merit in branding or is this a luxury for those who would succeed anyway? How does branding make a difference for real estate investors and operators who are all about cash-on-cash returns? Let's look at the retail world where branding in all of its forms is highly prized. Mall owners like Simon and Westfield have gone to great expense to spread their names across their properties. For all their constituencies, this is a value generator. Tenants believe they are getting access to a more powerful distribution channel. The mall brand provides them a halo effect, amplifying their own marketing dollars. Consumers know a branded mall offers a proven tenant mix and desired shopping experience. The tenants themselves invest heavily in brand equity. Just look at iconic brands like Polo, Armani, and Prada. Is it the clothing or the fantasy lifestyle? And let's look at Missoni for Target. Target's web site crashed due to unprecedented demand - yet Target placed a "cool stamp" on the forehead of an arguably fusty brand. So, marketing is critical, and branding remains a part of the “secret sauce” in creating value for property owners. Expect other property sectors to develop more sophisticated means of taking advantage of this multiplier effect too.