IT IS NOT WHO YOU KNOW. IT’S WHO KNOWS YOU! 6 success strategies for building a standout brand in a competitive sector based on my presentation to international delegates in Portugal recently. I hope you enjoy it and please share with other business owners and professionals.
ON THE SPOT.
Being asked by Malcolm Lindley our amiable and truly visionary international head/founder to share our success strategies at Fine and Country West Africa while in Portugal recently gave me a unique opportunity to review how far our team of champions have successfully positioned the brand as one to be reckoned with amongst our target clientele in the last 9years of operating principally in Nigeria and occasionally across other countries within West Africa such as Ghana and Gambia.
Here are some TOP SUCCESS STRATEGIES FOR BUILDING A POWER BRAND.
There are quite a few successful strategies that we now realise contribute to the strength of the Fine and Country brand within our market. However, I’d like to highlight 6 key strategies that have put us on the map in no particular order. They are as follows.
1. FOCUSED MARKET/ CREATING A NICHE: As a developing economy, we don’t have a very strong secondary real estate market. As a result, we decided to focus on New Residential Developments in the first 5 years. Our initial almost fanatical focus on exclusively marketing and selling New Residential Developments which now forms 70-80% of our business has helped us become the go to brand for most of the prime residential and more recently, commercial/office projects where we expanded our services in the last 2 years. We basically followed our High Net-worth clients lead, as most of them ventured into the Prime Grade A office market to diversify and provide their own offices, with the excess office spaces going to the corporate/multinational market which we have now tapped into largely through collaboration. The strategic decision and laser focus on the premium residential and prime office segments enabled us position as leading experts in that niche, and helped us bid for and attract mainly exclusive mandates for many high profile and iconic projects.
2. EXCLUSIVE COMPANY PUBLICATIONS. The Fine and Country ‘REFINED’ Magazine adapted from FC international is a top quality marketing tool which we invested actively in during our first few years and continues to create ‘Visibility and Brand Positioning’ for us. We publish on the average 10-20k copies which are distributed nationally on a quarterly or bi annual basis. As a result of the quality and visibility it provides to the exclusion of other firms in the region, the REFINED Magazine has helped us bring in the top 1% HNI/Institutions who generally contact us as their 1st choice when it comes to luxury and prime new developments which they want featured and presented at the highest level. The EXCLUSIVE HOMES WORLDWIDE produced also by Fine and Country International has also been very useful and is distributed to our top value clients and to our partner private banking divisions for their clients. Recently, we’ve amplified the reach of these publications by sharing them online to our database and through social media.
3. THOUGHT LEADERSHIP THROUGH INDUSTRY KNOWLEDGE EVENTS. Our annual live events are probably the most exciting and enduring business development tool and marketing exposure strategy deployed to date. We host the Real Estate Leaders Network/an Economic and Real Estate Outlook Roundtable at the beginning of the year for clients and industry stakeholders. The REFINED INVESTOR SERIES is held annually to provide accurate insight and expert knowledge to investors typically on our anniversary in November. This year however, we are bringing it to the UK as we target the growing Diaspora Market in the UK and across Europe/USA. Our Theme in 2017 is: “Taking Nigeria to the World.” This is an industry event that seeks to provide insight and up to date information to investors through seminar like knowledge sessions with top business/financial sector leaders, and industry experts including exhibitions. We also host the Finer Wealth Series usually in May targeted at female investors, seeing that approximately 35% of our clients are female executives. We also actively champion a Women’s Leadership & Entrepreneurship Network and Summit as part of our community initiative. These events enable us create deeper connections and collaboration with key stakeholders within our target market. It also positions us as influencers and leaders in our sector as we seek to shape the narrative and inspire confidence in our economy and market.
4. MEDIA POWER/GURU CONTENT on Social and Traditional media. Our weekly newsletters to a massive database created and curated over time through various channels has being a major source of developing our business through sharing GURU content that adds value to our clientele. We also have specialised articles shared with specific client lists such as the Astute Investors Newsletter that we provide to our partner private wealth divisions occasionally. Our social media presence is growing and has brought in consistent business at the middle segment in recent times, but more importantly it enables us share our passions, ethos and knowledge with a growing community of younger millennial and aspiring investors. We are also actively engaged with our local media houses, supporting the work they do with the rich content we provide through our usually exclusive events and research activities. This has ensured we are consistently in front of our target audience and seen as valuable partners rather than attention seekers.
5. COLLABORATIONS/POWER OF ASSOCIATION. Collaboration is one of our primary values at FCWA. As such, we go to great lengths to create and forge associations with the right brands/partners through doing joint events, or through sponsoring third party events and opportunities whether in our industry or related ones. Over the years, we have been associated in various ways with FORBES Africa, Rolls Royce, First Bank Nigeria Plc, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, StanbicIBTC, Lagos Business School, Business Day, Guardian etc. We have also sponsored key industry events organised by sector players and routinely create networking opportunities with other leading real estate professionals through the Golden Referral Circle set up by FCWA for the mutual benefit of all parties.
6. The POWER OF BRAND RECOGNITION/GLOBAL AWARDS. Benchmarking at a global standard has been important to us at FCWA and this has led us to participate mainly in international property contests both for ourselves and our clients. We actively and routinely apply and accept nominations from reputable sources for industry awards. These awards help put our clients projects at the forefront ahead of their competitors, and gives us news worthy content, while elevating the profile of the Fine and Country brand both locally and internationally. The personal profile of the business leader is also one that should not be taken for granted, and which must be value adding, providing a well positioned leadership outlook, with involvement in pioneering work in the industry whether it’s through speaking, teaching/lecturing at relevant top organisations/events, or through charitable platforms that affect the community. While this may not have started out with any deliberate intent, it’s led to a positive halo effect on the business on many occasions. We as leaders must therefore be careful to nurture our personal profiles in line with our authentic values, rather than posturing for fleeting media mentions or chasing every networking opportunity on the horizon. As our key note speaker said, it’s not who you know but who knows you?
CORE VALUES ARE NOT JUST BUZZ WORDS.
Our strategies have largely been driven by our core values at Fine and Country which we articulated at the launch of the business in 2008. Passion. Leadership. Creativity. Knowledge. Collaboration are some of the top values seen highlighted in what we’ve done so far.
Although these strategies aren’t necessarily new to most, I do hope you have found some of them insightful and can find one or two relevant aspects to take action on in the near future.
U. Maryanne Okonjo
Fine and Country West Africa
Ps. The deepening of relationships with various colleagues within the International network, (especially the Cannes, French office, Australia, Italy, Portugal, Dubai,) our time learning together, sightseeing, dining, dancing, fooling around with fun photos and their graciously (some enjoyed it) bearing with my constant Facebook live feeds to my Nigerian audience, made the trip even more profound and enjoyable. A story for another day. ***Watch out for the Portugal Social Scene Report.😀
Being asked by Malcolm Lindley our amiable and truly visionary international head/founder to share our success strategies at Fine and Country West Africa gave me a unique opportunity to review how far our team of champions have successfully positioned the brand as one to be reckoned with amongst our…