Homes and gardens

What’s in a name?

It is natural to wonder why certain realty projects, such as ‘Worli 1973’, ‘W54’ or ‘Three Sixty West’, are so named. Or why some developers come up with esoteric names ranging from Greek gods to foreign flora for their projects. In fact, the naming of projects is an important exercise carried out by marketing and strategy teams.

Contrary to common perception, naming projects is a well-researched and executed exercise. Most leading developers invest a great deal of psychology and marketing thought in this process. The aim usually is to best convey the value proposition and market positioning of the project in one (or a few) words.

At other times, the goal may be to stir up a certain aspiration in the minds of target clientele or associate the project to uber-luxury or select global locations. For example, continental names intend to conjure images of exotic European locales and life there. Generally, it is the theme-based or luxury projects and gated townships that get named in such a fashion.

The developer tries to evoke a sense of ‘arrival’ in the buyers’ minds apart from representing the global ambience and exclusiveness such a project would offer.Two upcoming projects in Mumbai have been named after ‘Paris’ - featuring French-styled apartments – and ‘Miami’ – as the project gives a great view of the Mahim bay.

In Bengaluru, Prestige named two projects after London’s Kensington Gardens and Wellington Park, as they have a lot of open spaces, greenery and recreational facilities.

Developments around the Buddha F1 racing circuit in NCR has buildings named ‘Speedway Avenue’, ‘Grand Stand’, ‘Grand Circuit’, etc. to evoke visions of the professional car racing ethos. In Bengaluru, a luxury offering is named ‘White Meadows’, which naturally conjures up images of pastoral grasslands.

How it all began

Foreign flora has emerged as a common favourite of developers across India, with many residential buildings, and entire townships, named after exotic flowers. So we have DLF Camellias – inspired by an evergreen shrub’s flowers said to symbolise desire, passion and refinement – in NCR and Sobha Mayflower – inspired by what is considered to be the tree of love – in Bengaluru.

Now, developers are getting more innovative and exclusive with very distinct proejct names with greater recall value.

Omkar’s ‘Worli 1973’ project in this upscale precinct of Mumbai stands out not only because cricketer Virat Kohli and an aspirational gentry has bought sky villas there, but also due to the uniqueness of its name, which is derived by merging the location’s latitude (19°) and longitude (73°).

Another developer has used its initial ‘W’ to name projects. ‘Three Sixty West’ presumably gets its name because its height is 360 meters and all apartments face the western direction. So intense is the competition of using unique tags that most developers maintain a shroud of secrecy around their projects’ names until they have actually kicked off marketing campaigns.

This is done to reduce the possibility of losing names to competition, as a robust copyright mechanism is still not existent.

Affinity to European names

Call it a post-colonial legacy or the universal human psychology of finding foreign-sounding names more attractive, but there is no denying that Indian customer’s psyche equates such names to better value propositions, international concepts, design and amenities. Not only NRIs but local buyers too are impressed by the idea of properties with hi-end amenities and designs associated with foreign names.

Increasing globalisation has exposed Indians to international locations, and the global appeal of such names attract a niche set of buyers. Given the tangible results of using such names in recent years, it is a trend which is here to stay and developers are bound to get more and more innovative with the science behind naming their projects.

The writer is National Director - Research,

JLL India

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 9:23:11 AM |

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