In a slow market, everybody looks to drum up as much business as they can, and for some companies, that can mean the drastic change of overhauling the brand. But is this actually a good idea in the midst of economic turmoil? Our readers were almost split down the middle in their opinions. Slightly more (54%) believe a branding shift is unlikely to help a real estate firm during tough times. Forty-six percent of respondents think it can be helpful. Shaun Osher, founder and CEO of CORE Marketing, is in the minority, as he believes that, in certain circumstances, a company can benefit from shifting its branding. Here’s what he has to say:

“Yes, a branding shift can help. A brand really says who you are as a company, and the brand represents the property almost as much as the property represents the brand. When markets go through cycles, certain segments of the markets are stronger than others, so if your brand resonates with the segment of the market that’s strong, whether it’s a downturn or an upturn, you’ll obviously be successful. For example, if you have a luxury brand and the luxury segment is doing well, you’re going to do well as a company. On the other hand, a brand that doesn’t really connect to the luxury segment might try to reinvent themselves or perhaps strengthen that part of their brand to make the consumer feel that they’re a luxury brand.

“Lately, a lot of the real estate companies have merged and grown bigger and bigger and it seems to me that the larger firms only have an interest in market share, not market quality. I think the future is with boutique firms who really want to capture a segment of the market instead of trying to be all things to everybody. There are very few companies who have that market share in a specific segment. A lot of these companies are just trying to be the 10,000-pound gorilla, but that doesn’t give the company the cachet or appeal that it needs. If you have a company that has 10,000 agents, it might not be very appealing to the consumer, because they may not feel that they’re getting the personal attention that they need.

“It seems to be that bigger brands don’t necessarily mean better, and what we’ve seen in real estate is the big-box retailing effect of some of these larger brands trying to put themselves on every corner of every city block like a Starbucks or a Gap. Real estate is not a commodity like retail. I see the difference between the big brands and small brands as being like going into a small, custom Italian suit manufacturer, which is a small brand that’s specific to a target segment, or going into K-Mart, where one size fits all. Not that this one is better than the other, they’re just different.”

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?


© 2023 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.

Dig Deeper



Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join now!

  • Free unlimited access to's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including and

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2023 ALM Global, LLC. All Rights Reserved.