01 Mar Communicating value
Global Opportunity 2015 | Innesco
Brand awareness and market perceptions are crucial to any major property and retail project’s success. Expert marketing agency Innesco utilises the full power of brand, marketing and communication to add considerable value to such projects across the region, says founder and MD Dan Innes
There are several key factors that decide the success of a property or retail project. Planning, construction and investment are essential, but just as significant is the communicative journey of the particular development.
Managing perceptions and generating understanding can play a crucial role in the outcome of a project, and add considerable commercial value. In the Middle East this can be particularly beneficial; handling communications can bring international support and recognition to even heavily localised projects.
INNESCO is a British-HQ’d marketing and communications agency with emphasis on real estate and the built environment. The focus stems from founder Dan Innes who originally trained in Town Planning and ensures the company has expertise from the earliest stages of property development onwards.
The aim of the company is simple: to unlock a project’s potential through a deep and thorough understanding of the development’s aims and objectives.
One of the most high-profile projects for INNESCO was managing the B2B communications for Westfield Stratford City in London. This project gained worldwide exposure three years ahead of launch, through its opening and the London Olympics.
It was a huge project – the largest urban mall in Europe – and INNESCO managed the transferral of the brand culture from the earlier Westfield mall in West London.
“We wanted to present Westfield as the most dynamic and innovative retail centre in the world,” says Dan Innes. “A key aspect was projecting Westfield as the key delivery partner for international retailers entering the UK.
We promoted Westfield’s now-famous attention to detail in order to maximise rental values, pushing key messages at important milestones in its construction and development programme.”
The project was a runaway success, with INNESCO driving hundreds of competing media opportunities, and generating circa $10 million USD in PR value in the final 12 months up to launch alone.
Subsequently, INNESCO supported Westfield with the remainder of its European portfolio of schemes and developments, including Westfield London. This cemented Westfield’s position as the leading player in the retail construction industry and one of the strongest retail property brands in the world.
Work in the Middle East
By definition these Westfield sites are international in nature, drawing a new generation of savvy customers from all over the world and meeting their expectations for the best shopping and dining experience.
INNESCO is keen to use this expertise to expand its work abroad and particularly in the Middle East. The success of Westfield has given foreign organisations confidence that a London-based marcomms agency can handle their communication journey.
One of INNESCO’s major Middle Eastern projects is the luxury Galleria shopping hub on Al Maryah island in Abu Dhabi. Working alongside the related and Gulf Capital joint venture – Gulf Related – INNESCO was appointed to launch the first phase of development to international audiences, and through marketing and PR has generated well over $3 million USD worth of coverage.
INNESCO continues to support the leasing and marketing teams on key announcements, events and content marketing. Raising the international profile of schemes like The Galleria is crucial to bringing valuable retail occupiers to these projects and, as an international organisation, this is what INNESCO can provide.
By managing the international communication of the project and raising awareness around the world, INNESCO played an important part in Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s agreeing to open department stores at the site. This was a hugely significant step as the store will be Macy’s first store outside of the U.S.
“It was a fascinating project for the team. The key is awareness and promotion in the right regions, and understanding how media is consumed in the global occupier markets.
We provided some important consultancy advice and generated some great coverage, including extensive coverage in Centros Commerciales, Shopping Centers Today, Economia Immobiliare and the Financial Times, both newspaper and online, for the Macy’s deal – just a small indication of the global coverage we can bring,” explains Dan Innes.
“As an international, multi-lingual agency, we also deliver best-in-class brand and marketing content – completing the campaign and augmenting the brand.”
Integration is a key aspect of how INNESCO unlocks latent value, with completed work in the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Russia and Poland as well as Egypt, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
INNESCO most recently supported the RLI Global Connect conference in Dubai, notably using social media to raise awareness to international markets.
The confidence gained through this and other recent Middle Eastern projects means INNESCO is eager to push on.
The Middle East region is a key and growing market for major real estate projects and INNESCO is well-placed, not only to develop brand equity and awareness for these projects to the rest of the world, but also to manage the market’s response to each one.
Brand, marketing and communications remain the most powerful tools for unlocking the value and raising awareness of major real estate projects and, with large projects such as The Galleria in their resumé, INNESCO is confident of managing any progressive project wherever it may be in the world.