‘Quality’ isn’t somewhere you decide to go to for a weekend.
As an industry, we tend to think about ‘the flight to quality’ as being only a cyclical phenomenon that comes around once every few years, when we suddenly realise that perhaps we’ve built a few too many McApartments – and it might be time to sojourn to a place where we do things better for a little while.
The fact is that, for centuries, the vast majority of enduring commercial undertakings have ultimately thrived or died on their ability to present and deliver quality.
Though hard to fathom for some, the truth is that nobody wants to buy a crap product or service (ever) – they are either forced to, duped into it, or simply don’t know that apples ain’t apples.
The sad (but probably fair) fact is that there comes a time when those selling apples from the bottom of the barrel end up holding them for extended periods – and if an apple hangs around too long, eventually nobody wants to eat it.
Quality is durable and worth investing in. It comes at a higher cost and requires a greater effort – but it is precisely these barriers that protect quality businesses from the threats of competition and market cycles.
Of course, not all organisations or business models are going to be built on the greatest offering in the known universe. For many, a solid result is a good result – and that’s fine. But even then, a product or service should be positioned in its best possible light.
Brands are like property
Brands are like real estate in many respects, in that they house business offerings and say a lot about their owners. They suggest a certain experience to potential visitors who might consider dropping in for tea (or a multi-million dollar product or service).
Of course, the brands that reflect a quality offering tend to get more visitors over for tea than those that don’t. They also tend to host the better quality guests and ultimately the best tea parties.
Nowhere is this more plain than in the project marketing space, where guests are literally invited to step into an imaginary home and make themselves comfortable. In this arena, as in most, the quality of brand experience is directly proportionate to the commercial outcome.
As an agency, we’ve been approached a number of times over the past few months by various developers looking to improve the quality of the brand work across existing campaigns where stock has failed to sell.
In most cases, these are projects that are backed by experienced and reliable teams, with respected architects, solid builders and quality finishes. The quality of brand experience has unfortunately not matched the quality of the offering. Poor design work, second-tier writing and low quality CGI production has failed to present a quality product in a quality light – and the cost of this shortcoming is time and money.
For Tesoro in Bellevue Hill, a boutique development set between Rose Bay’s harbour front and Bondi Beach, the investment in a high quality display suite ignited sales in a slowing market. This premium buyer experience precipitaed the sale of the majority of the stock within a matter of weeks.
“We’ve seen first hand the impact of quality work and branding – with our client list expanding to include such highly regarded industry organisations as Koichi Takada Architects, Binyan Studios and leading developers such as Cornerstone Property Group, Rebel Property Group and Capitel.”
Industry businesses are raising the stakes in the branding game
Beyond the high profile development or project brand itself lies the landscape of industry providers whose skills and expertise are employed to deliver the product.
Here too it seems there is a move towards presenting organisational offerings in the best possible light. Industry leaders are investing in brand and communications, with social media becoming a staple for the marketing departments and leaders of the fastest growing businesses.
As an agency, we’re currently engaged in brand and design projects for four major private developers, a large constuction business and one of Sydney’s leading architecture firms, all of whom have built significant reputations on quality outcomes, and seek to invest in presenting their organisation accordingly.
These companies have already reaped the benefits of operating at the highest level and as such, understand the material benefit they draw from the market’s perception of their brand.
From a developer point of view, the quality of their brand supports buyer confidence and impacts directly on sales results.
For companies like Binyan Studios, quality too is everything. Their position as one of the world’s leading CGI providers has been built over years on the back of a level of work that prestige developers demand in taking their product to market.
Equally, the process of designing their corporate anthology was one of collaboration and great care, taking pains to ensure that every detail from font style to language and print finishes presented the organisation in the appropriate light.
There’s never a time when quality matters less
So, while there may be times when the market’s focus on quality is temporarily redirected, those organisations for whom it is a cornerstone of business, will continue to be sought-after, survive and thrive, regardless of the market’s fluctuating appetite.
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