Marathon: Bringing Trust back in Real Estate

December 16, 2016

The Background

When Marathon Reality, a well-known real estate developer in Mumbai, approached Landor, they had a strong presence in the suburbs of Mulund and Lower Parel. However, their reputation was limited to these suburbs alone, and this was limiting their growth.

While the business was robust and growing, Marathon realised the need to create an aspirational proposition that brought their true differentiation to life and told a bigger story, about their family values, ideals etc. This new proposition would enable them to take their story to the world and expand their reach to newer markets and micro-markets.

Landor was appointed to create the new brand.

The Challenge

Indian consumers have always had very low confidence in real estate brands, which are known for meaningless advertising, lack of commitment, poor delivery, delays and broken promises. Furthermore, where most brands spoke of glamour and glitz to attract the aspirational consumers, Marathon had the opportunity to stand out through their beliefs, ideals and technological bent.

Marathon also faced another core challenge. Their project brands were more prominent than the corporate brand. It was imperative to rejig their portfolio, to build more equity in the corporate brand.

The Solution

To create a brand that would help Marathon stand up, stand out and stand for something strong, we spoke to internal stakeholders, consulted industry experts, audited the competition and commissioned a consumer research study.

We learned that trust and reputation were important consideration factors for consumers, while empathy and service were critical in closing the deal. Additionally, it was important for real estate brands to focus on the end-benefit to their customers. Marathon met these needs through its personable reputation, technocrat DNA, track record, cost efficiencies and expertise in design and engineering.

Creating The Brand Positioning

We saw an exciting opportunity to capture the visionary and disruptive spirit of Marathon, while bringing their passion and values to the forefront. Based on our learning and the white spaces in the market, we recommended the positioning ‘Challenging Conventions’ – a brand that brings passion, vision, expertise and experience together; a brand whose work is a statement of its values.

Reconfiguring The Portfolio

We recommended a master brand approach to the portfolio, creating three verticals: Marathon Residences, Marathon Commercial and Initiatives by Marathon (slum rehabilitation projects and the corporate referral programme). This enabled the company to showcase their breadth of offering and simultaneously build equity in the corporate brand.

Creating The Visual Expression

It was important for the visual expression of the Marathon brand to signal the change that Marathon was undergoing. We evolved the Marathon brand identity to bring the dynamism, vision and aspiration that ‘Challenging Conventions’ entailed, to life.

Next, we created distinctive visual languages for each of the three verticals. We used geometric shapes across the portfolio to illustrate Marathon’s strong basics and solid foundation in real estate development.

Bringing The Experience to Life

We worked closely with Marathon to bring their new brand story to life through customer experience mapping.  At each of the four stages in a customer’s journey with Marathon – pre-sales, sales & post sales, possession and post possession – we created interventions to bring ‘Challenging Conventions’ to life.

The Results

The new brand has succeed in energising and motivating the sales team, lending new direction and focus to sales efforts. It has also lent clarity to communication and advertising, resulting in cost efficiencies and better targeting of communication.

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