Shared Workspaces : They’re Onto Something

WeWork creates attractive shared workspaces. The company, valued at $15 billion USD, leads the “co-working” movement. They include details in their spaces like chic interior design and craft brews (yes, both coffee and beer) that not only appeal to freelancers and startups, but also draw bigger clients who have traditionally used formal workspaces in the past. Traditional employers work side-by-side with the newer generation in the technology sector.

  • While General Electric builds new headquarters in Boston, 20 employees operate in a WeWork space nearby.
  • In Manhattan, KPMG takes nearly 75 WeWork desks, split between providing business services to startups and advising corporate clients on technological innovation.
  • Galvanize  in San Fransisco and Centrl Office in Portland, Oregon are two more co-working spaces that both rent desks to Silicon Valley Bank. Silicon Valley likes this format, because bankers work beside tech startups who then become clients. They simply open an office door and say “Hey, we need a bank account”.

So why opt for a shared workspace? Why are they so successful?

Flexibility, for starters. Companies can easily move in and out, which means the focus can shift to business expansion rather than juggling real estate operations.

And employees seem to like the shared workspaces; offices can be located strategically to facilitate meetings conveniently. People feel empowered by opting into a workspace instead of just showing up at a designated spot, and it produces a sense of community. The chic spaces even boost recruiting.

Some companies aren’t necessarily snapping up memberships, rather, they adopt principles like  simply trading assigned desks for access to a variety of shared spaces.

Read the whole story at Bloomberg News

Holy ****! Instagram Already Has 200,000 Advertisers

Just last year, Instagram announced the new business model: the inclusion of mobile advertising. So what key moves have they made to reach 200,000 advertisers?

The formats have attracted big names and small advertisers alike. Of course, Facebook encourages marketers to run paid promos on both Facebook and Instagram. This also boosts both engagement and ad recall.

Instagram continues to monitor ads very closely, to ensure quality. Companies are challenged to create compelling content that suits the platform. After all, users are very discerning about what they want to see, and will provide feedback as to whether an ad is relevant or not. This is money well spent for advertisers; relevant ads always perform better.

Source: Adweek

The Verv Brand Platform

We’ve been building real estate brands for 11 years. Things evolve. One of the most challenging yet exciting evolutions we’ve seen is in consumers. They are more informed than ever; they have constant access to information, and lots of it (hello, internet). This challenges us; it requires us to build more compelling, strategically sound brands for clients.

Brands are more than just logos. Brands are entities. People emotionally engage with them, invest in them, and the brands they associate with are intertwined with their own personal identity. Because of that, it is crucial to set your brand up so that it makes perfect sense for consumers to invest. That’s where the challenge lies. With that comes the privilege of what we do.

So how do we do it?

  1. Start with research. Understanding fundamental dynamics around the market is the only place to start. We need to know:
  • who is buying what
  • how much they are paying for it
  • what the competitive landscape looks like
  • what threats might be out there
  • what we can leverage

We mine for insights so we can come to any project as smart as we can.

  1. Define clear business objectives. This is another crucial element to the equation. Developments will always have restrictions and performance requirements that directly impact positioning and marketing strategies.

We use the data set to build brands that deliver on our clients’ objectives that are totally appropriate for our identified market segment.

There are three key steps to our brands.

  1. Brand strategy – we’ve developed a platform that outlines the ultimate ambition of a brand, the reason it exists, the values with which it operates, what drives the brand philosophically, and finally, the all-important brand promise.
  1. Brand positioning – all of our lofty idealism around our brand is irrelevant unless it is attached to concrete data from the research. This step in our process aligns the brand strategy to key imperatives, like the target market, the credibility of the product, differentiators from the competition, and facts that legitimize our claims.
  1. Brand Identity – this is the best part. We interpret all of the strategic thinking into an identity and design system that brings the brand to life in a compelling visual way (i.e. pretty shapes and colours). This is where our positioning is personified in the logo, our values are demonstrated in the key messaging and our product ambitions are clearly represented in imagery and copy.

Cool, but what are the results?

The Verv Brand Platform provides the foundation and frame of reference for everyone involved in the project. It consolidates efforts and unifies messaging, which delivers efficiencies across the board. No detail is exempt from this platform, not even the choice of door handles.

Marketing efforts are precise and aligned with the brand. We understand our market segment, how to engage with them, and more specifically, where to reach them. From premium hand-delivered invitations to commissioned blog posts promoting the hottest new venues in town, we are in the right places at the right time. This is all directed by our brand.

Once our consumers are paying attention, acquisitions are quicker to come by. End-users intuitively understand the product early on – thanks to accurate positioning –, which frees the sales team up to focus on the details. We have delivered brands that sold out two towers in ten days. Despite the rush, we still received compliments on our brand touch points: the brochure, sales centre, and digital experience!

The brand doing its job means all of your collateral, marketing and sales efforts will reinforce your price per square foot. You might be at the top of the market or have an entry-level product. You could be selling, or renting. You could offer commercial, residential, or mixed-use. The brand supports the price point and the product type. It’s all about delivering against our clients’ business objectives.

Some of our recent successes include:

The Jervis

Gold House

Call us.