My mother once commented on a new coat I’d bought. She said, “couldn’t you have chosen one that covered your bottom?”

While I was thinking style and threads that would further project what I believed to be me, she was thinking “that coat won’t keep your bottom warm.”

Buying a home is much the same. My mother’s reaction to my first apartment in Edinburgh was “oh no… what have you done…?!”

Me? I was thinking “this is so me.”

What we choose in life is a direct indicator of who we are and what we like, regardless of what that might be. I would no more wear my mother’s bottom warming coat than I would trust her to choose where and what type of property I live in.

In 2011, a brief landed on my desk. Our team and I were tasked with positioning, naming, branding and taking to market a new development in London.

Since then we have performed that task on numerous occasions and all to great effect.

What has struck me most about property marketing is working out exactly who the person is that’s going to say – “that’s so me!”

To say “build it and they will come” is to take a big punt and add a huge dollop of pressure to the whole development and its success. Unless you know who they are, they won’t know if they should come and see because they have no reason to identify.

It is the single most compelling question any developer and creative should ask. Who is that person? What do they look like? What sort of things do they do, eat, drink? Are they left or right brain? Stylish or practical. Tech or analogue. Instagram, Twitch or TikTok? Single, have children, LBGTQ+, retired? Funny or serious? So on and so forth.

We can talk endlessly about the naming, tone of voice, and look & feel of a brand, but until we have walked in the shoes of that person, all of that counts for nothing. Remember, what my mum wants is not necessarily what I want.

Knowing the person is 90% of the job done. I promise you.

Naming and creating the brand and communications for a development? Well, look at the person who we now know. What would they want and say? What’s their thinking?

Walk in their shoes and all of this will reveal itself.

“Build it and they will come.” Nah they won’t. Because they know they’ll end up with a shit coat.

Phill Clark, Creative Director/Owner Kemosabe