When creating a brand for your commercial real estate property, it’s important to choose an agency partner that will help you accomplish your marketing goals.
At AQUILA we have over a decade of experience working on property marketing campaigns and have worked with numerous branding agencies creating dozens of property brands. Because of this, when working with a new client, we’re frequently asked for a list of proven branding firms that we recommend. In this article, we’ll share what we consider to be the top agencies for commercial real estate marketing.
I have personally worked with every single agency on this list and give them all my personal stamp of approval. They all bring something different to the table, and who might be the best fit ultimately depends on the client, the project and the goals for your campaign.
Without further ado, here is my list of the six best branding agencies for commercial real estate:
1. Misfit Brands
Location: Dallas, Texas
Misfit will challenge your preconceived notions about how to brand and market a property. They have a unique ability to push clients just enough outside of their comfort zone to create truly unique and memorable property brands.
A Dallas-based branding and design firm, their creative and energetic team uses their experience both in and outside of real estate to understand a property’s unique story and drive messaging to support your marketing goals. In addition to real estate, the Misfit team has a wealth of experience in the tourism and hospitality industries, so they have a special knack for creating memorable brands and experiences for destinations. They also have keen ability to identify a property’s unique value proposition and use that to create an approachable and intriguing brand.
Misfit’s team is truly fun to work with, and our clients love them.
But my experience with Misfit goes much further back. I’ve worked with the partners at Misfit since my days working in Economic Development for the City of Dallas. They have also done corporate branding and office, industrial, multi-family and retail property brands for me at PegausAblon, UCR (now CBRE) and AQUILA.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Nimble specializes in commercial real estate and has a robust portfolio of property branding projects. The firm is led by CEO and Creative Director, Candice Riley Campbell, a creative and whip-smart marketing maven who cut her teeth in the commercial real estate industry working her way up the ranks at Stream Realty Partners.
Nimble brings a multi-disciplinary approach to property branding, they call Branding for the Built Environment™. Nimble offers traditional naming, branding, and digital and print collateral design services, and they can project manage property renovations or consult on initiatives such as wayfinding and environmental graphics.
Nimble’s most impressive work in Austin to date is Park Centre, where they led a rebranding and visual design overhaul, property renovations and retooled the property’s wayfinding program.
Location: Austin, Texas
LookThinkMake is one of Austin’s premier branding agencies and has a strong track record in commercial real estate branding projects. The members of their creative team are true chameleons. They have successfully launched brands that range from approachable and friendly to exclusive and luxurious. Their visual designs are impressive and well-executed across all the collateral they produce – from digital to print.
LookThinkMake’s brand outcomes are a result of a well-defined creative process which they run like a well-oiled machine. If you have a client who likes process and clear expectations and deliverables, LookThinkMake is worth considering. Our team loves working with them because they are the perfect blend of creative and consistent.
LookThinkMake also has a strong public relations team. If you have a project that needs community buy-in or could benefit from a strong media campaign, talk to this team.
Location: Los Angeles, California
Kilograph has robust experience in brand making for commercial real estate. With dozens of property campaigns under its belt, Kilograph has an excellent understanding of the key audiences and goals for commercial real estate projects.
The key differentiator for this Los Angeles-based firm is its ability to provide stunning renderings – both still and video. Of course, they offer standard branding and collateral development packages, but being able to truly control the visual design of a building and a brand from start to finish allows them to provide a unique edge.
If you’re working on a project that needs to be brought to life with rendered images, such as a new development or a major redevelopment, Kilograph is worth talking to.
AQUILA worked with Kilograph on a video series for our Arena Tower office development that both us and our clients were blown away with. Kilograph is also the mastermind behind other notable Austin office developments, including Stream’s River South and Lincoln’s 6xGuadalupe.
5. SWOON, The Studio
Location: Dallas, Texas
When I think luxury, I think SWOON. And with a client roster that includes real estate icon Lucy Billingsley and Cowboys’ owner Jerry Jones, it’s no surprise SWOON is a shoo-in for high-end property branding projects.
SWOON’s design work is always on point, and I am always intrigued and inspired by their creative use of physical materials to bring brands and properties to life. When it comes to printed collateral, they think beyond paper and aren’t afraid to experiment with creative materials such as lucite or wood. They play with size to create memorable print materials, and they always seem to consider all print techniques available to them such as foil stamp, spot gloss and even embroidery!
SWOON has deep experience in the hospitality space which allows them to bring a unique perspective to real estate projects that truly help them stand out.
Founded by tastemaker Samantha Sano, this studio is home to a creative and adventurous crew of designers, artists, writers, makers, editors, illustrators, photographers and product designers. They offer naming, branding, visual design and digital marketing services, but also can provide expertise on interior design as well.
Location: Dallas, Texas
Matchbox, based out of Dallas, Texas holds a special place in my heart as they crafted the brand for Lower Oak Lawn in the Dallas Design District, the first property marketing campaign I ever worked on.
Matchbox offers a full suite of branding, design and digital services, but their visual design and branding is where they really stand out. They employ some of the most creative and talented designers in the business, and I am continually impressed by the visual designs they bring to the table.
I am confident that you could create a successful brand with any of these firms if you take the time to interview them and make sure you find the right fit for your project.
Still weighing whether or not your property needs a custom brand? Read our article Do I Need a Custom Brand Identity for My Commercial Property?
To talk more about your specific property marketing needs, or to chat with one of our project leasing professionals, please request a consultation today.