Co-branded for life | Insight
Besides putting the real designer’s nose out of place, his statement posed an alarming question: Would you drive a car actually designed by Victoria Beckham? Maybe not.
Links between brands are relatively common in the automotive world – often as a way to give an otherwise unremarkable vehicle a fashionable shine. Borrowed branding is also a growing phenomenon in real estate. In a November 2021 report on the global branded residences industry, agency Savills said business had grown 230% in a decade.
Most real estate co-branding is aimed at the luxury market segment, with high-end hotel chains giving added luster to residential developments that offer hospitality-inspired services. In this edition, we hear from Gulf Islamic Investments about its latest co-branded launch with hotel chain Marriott International, in Chelsea, following an earlier Hyde Park project co-branded with Lebanese fashion designer Eli Saab ( p17).
High-end sensibilities are also spilling over into the purpose-built student housing (PBSA) sector, as we explore in our interview with Max Bielby, chief operating officer at Vita Group, which specializes in studio apartments. hotel type for undergraduate students (p26).
Co-branding in the PBSA world seems sure to increase, though the ties will no doubt be different. Brand associations with brands in the sports or tech sector – those that are already spending a fortune marketing their products to young people – seem like a good bet.
Of course, today’s PBSA sector seems to exist on a different planet than I inhabited as a student. If my residences had been brand-approved, it might have been the Royal Marines, such was the level of stamina required to survive your first winter. I vividly remember shivering as a layer of ice steadily grew inside my window.
Courage of a similar level will be needed to survive the rest of the Conservative leadership race. Surprisingly, we’re only halfway there. Conservative Party members still have until 5 p.m. on Friday September 2 to cast their ballots, and the mind is wondering what outlandish ideas will emerge from the Sunak and Truss camps before the polls close.
Luckily, we’ve also seen co-branding creep into the debate, with Sunak now firmly aligned with Prada and Truss with Claire’s Accessories (p21).
With the turmoil a month away, we can only hope that at some point the debate will stray into concrete policy approaches on serious topics such as planning reform, housing construction, resilience climate change, modernization and development of infrastructure. Hell is just as likely to freeze over as my window.
No wonder when we asked PW readers who should move to No. 10 – Sunak, Truss or Starmer – we saw a resounding victory for “none of the above”.
It’s not hard to think of people who could do a better PM than any of the real options. What is Victoria Beckham doing these days, anyway?
real estate week is taking a short summer break but will return to print from August 26.