We always expect something new from Ecobuild and the 2017 show did not disappoint. Refreshingly this year’s talking point was all about regeneration.
For us, Ecobuild 2017 highlighted how brands need to keep up with the industry’s pace of change, the accelerating drive for innovation and the ambition to realise a brighter, more creative tomorrow.
As brand regeneration champions, we would urge the sector to take the theme further. It’s also time to move the focus on beyond the regeneration of built environments and look too, at the need to regenerate many of the brands that operate within the sector.
Just like buildings, brands need to be managed. Brand management is all about how you build, manage, maintain and renovate your building. Remember brands are not optional, but whether you choose to manage them is.
Brands that stay ahead, especially in this highly competitive market where product and service parity is rife, are those that are sharply focused on what their customers need, today and tomorrow.
A construction service brand needs to differentiate by showing a sharper focus on providing a skillset designed to meet specific challenges. A construction product manufacturer must present an even more ambitious programme of customer focused innovation, or face becoming just another commodity or parity product. An architect must demonstrate an even more intelligent balance between creativity and cost, proving their specialist insight and using BIM to underpin cost efficiencies of project integration.
What is clear is that all brands in the sector need to embrace new tools, skills and ways to respond faster, without losing quality – including marketing agencies. Having recently undergone our own brand transformation, we know the importance of this.
For our clients, in technology terms, a key driver will be the accelerating move to mobile platforms. This has already evolved from being just a top level search tool, into the primary device for researching, planning, specifying, buying and installing products. Brands that want to say ahead must focus on delivering a superior mobile first communications strategy.
It is increasingly clear that, while growth is forecast, only the most focused brands will win. A new vision of marketing will be built upon cornerstones of clarity, customer focus and differentiation, even above sustainability and innovation. The winners will be those who think, act and communicate incisively.
At CMDi we believe that there has never been a more important time than now for regenerating and sharpening your built environment brand.
If your brand and communications would benefit from more incisive thinking, please call me.
Client Services Director