Identica will present its strategic ideas by the end of the month for a brand refresh of upmarket estate agent Hamptons International, with creative work commencing soon after.
The group is currently in the ‘brand audit’ phase of the project, conducting interviews across the breadth of the company.
A Hamptons ‘brand panel’ had already begun to review its own brand positioning before Identica was appointed to the project, says account director Sheona Michie, but the brief focuses on ‘the way it behaves’ and its ‘communications style’.
Michie adds, ‘Hamptons has been defining its strategic direction. We’re looking at the brand message it wants to convey. [And] it’s about creating a much more ownable space [in the market].’
She likens Hamptons to a ‘sleeping giant’ in terms of the gap between how it is perceived and the more ‘dynamic’ reality.
Despite the often adverse public perceptions of estate agents, Michie maintains that it will be through its ‘people primarily’ that Hamptons’ improves its brand performance.
Although there has been ‘an element of complacency perhaps’ in Hamptons’ previous communications, Michie suggests the brand fundamentals are strong.
‘It is a question of broadening the appeal, [but] consumers may be surprised at the [accessibility] of the price-point [in many cases],’ she says. ‘The offers have always been there, but they’re not perhaps fully appreciated.’
Once ‘top-line recommendations on brand architecture and messaging’ are agreed, the consultancy will ‘drill down’ into the guidelines and creative applications, she adds.
Identica won the branding work in August after a pitch involving Coley Porter Bell, Fitch London and The Partners.