For us, the new year started a long time ago. Almost two years ago to be precise as that’s when we embarked on an important journey that has seen us refresh our brand, the roll out of which started this week.
Mindful of the ever-changing and increasingly sophisticated marketplace in which we operate, and the need to not only remain competitive but to lead the market, we decided to take a step back and invest in a thorough review of our brand.
And so, engaging with globally acclaimed branding agency, Siegal & Gale, we commenced a programme of research and analysis that involved not only representatives from throughout the Andrews group of businesses, but also critically our own customer base. We were thorough and, at times, tough on ourselves but we believe it’s all worth it.
Just this week we unveiled our new website and mobile app, both of which we’re incredibly proud to provide to our existing and future customers. These are the first manifestation of our newly refreshed brand identity and over the coming 18 months our branch network will start to benefit from the roll out of the new brand.
But does this all really matter? So long as we’re connecting our customers with the right properties; supporting sellers and landlords to achieve a fair price; and providing insight and guidance on the key property issues of the day, surely our logo is irrelevant?
No, I don’t believe that is the case.
What we’ve just been through is the most extensive exercise of its kind for the business in over 30 years – a lot has changed in that time and quite simply we needed to ensure that our brand was fit for purpose and strong enough to meet the business challenges both of today and the future.
The results of the review confirmed us as a well-established and well respected brand. In many areas, not least of all integrity and ethical practice, we were ‘best in class’. We work hard each and every day to maintain this and that is in no small part down to the commitment of our loyal staff who are both positive and proud of the our heritage.
However, we couldn’t escape the fact that our brand was tired and not as relevant as it could be. This didn’t need to mean dramatic change, but an evolution that retained the goodwill and equity that had been built up in the brand over the years, whilst giving it a refresh to make it more relevant for the customer of both today and tomorrow.
But it’s not just the outputs that are important here, although admittedly that is what most people will identify with. The process that we’ve all been through is, for us as a business entering our 70th year, as defining as our new physical brand.
Simply, our business was founded, and continues to be run, on a sense of community and entrepreneurialism and it was important that we remembered this throughout this process. Therefore, whilst there is great value in the physical outputs, for us it is just as important that the people at the heart of Andrews have been engaged with the essence of what that brand is all about.
The support from our staff has been overwhelmingly positive and there’s a real buzz of excitement throughout the business having now completed this process. We believe this will enable the whole business to embrace the refreshed brand and ensure it’s communicated effectively at all levels - for me, that makes it not absolutely the right thing to have done, but also the right time to have done it.
So simply, yes branding is an important aspect of the property sector as it enables us serve our customers to the very best level we can – both now and in the future.