Why Dexus has embarked on a brand repositioning program

Acquisition, customer centricity and community all play a role in the new-look brand approach and identity adopted by this ASX-listed property group

Rapid expansion through acquisition and a quest to become more customer-oriented and progressive has led ASX-listed property group, Dexus, to embark on a brand rejuvenation and repositioning program.

Dexus executive general manager, customer and marketing, Deborah Coakley, told CMO conversations around overhauling the brand started five years ago, following the appointment of CEO, Darren Steinberg. The desire for change was propelled by the acquisition of Commonwealth Property Office Fund (CPA) portfolio in 2014. While giving Dexus the scale in the office and commercial real estate space it was seeking, the deal also raised questions about how to leverage such scale to competitive advantage, she said.

A decision was made to become a customer-centric organisation and expand the relationship with customers. Since then, Dexus has been working to build its customer credentials operationally, through its products and services and through its culture.

“The start was actually calling them ‘customers'; they had been tenants,” Coakley said. “We started to change the language and the way we negotiated deals – it was always that combative, last negotiation point and about documentation, rather than how we could help and their business needs. It was about changing the conversation to better understand how as a landlord, we could help and benefit the customer.”

Another element has been an internal program of work to encourage diversity. “Our CEO has been steadfast that the reason we are undertaking a shift in the composition of our workforce, has been to deliver a diversity of thought in the organisation,” she said.

One way is by encouraging more women into the property market; the second is to encourage hiring of people from outside the property industry. “We need that to encourage progressive and innovative thinking and we won’t do that if we have the usual suspects around the table,” Coakley said, noting that, along with herself, the GM of HR and head of marketing have built their careers outside the property sector.

What became clear was the external branding didn’t reflect the progressing strategy and required an overhaul, Coakley said. One major issue was that the brand was one-dimensional and focused on office property management, while Dexus’ business had extended to healthcare and retail and outside of CBDs into regional areas.

It also used a restricted colour palette and didn’t give any way of reflecting the diversity of the culture or community focus now driving the organisation’s approach.


“We wanted to build a presence and value proposition with the brand that better represented the way we had change internally and the face we wanted to have out in the market,” Coakley said.

“The concept of placemaking in property is a lively subject – you don’t just create the building, it’s a space of multiple dimensions, a liveably city and community. We are not in the residential space, but feel place is important to CBDs and from a retail point of view.

“Many of our shopping centres are in regional locations and they are at the heart of those communities. We wanted to have a brand that articulated that.”

Dexus partnered with branding agency, Hulsbosch, to develop its new brand identity, replacing the old blue-and-white logo and property skyline image with a multi-coloured, adaptable look and feel.

Coakley's favourite thing about the new branding is that when testing out the new visual design, staff had 20 different variations to choose from on their business cards and could actively engage with the brand.

Alongside the visual redesign, Dexus is upping the product ante around community. One example is an initiative, dubbed ‘Workspace Dexus’, aimed at reimagining workspace communities through value-added services. These include car sharing and parking solutions, flexible meeting and training facilities, and childcare offerings, the latter launched in partnership with Guardian Early Learning centres last October.

Another offering launched in the last six months is in-building intranet portals, aimed at providing community-based information designed to the demographic of that building.

Coakley said Dexus is now in the process of overhauling all of its collateral, with the first wave of activity focused on core assets internally, leasing board signage, digital properties and physical sites. From a marketing perspective, Dexus is taking the new branding out via sponsorship of the Sydney Swans, the group’s first foray into B2C-style sponsorship.

“We went with Sydney Swans because of their team-based and high-performance culture goal setting approach, use of mentoring programs, and appeal in terms of corporate membership,” Coakley said, adding that the ‘C’ in ‘B2C’ for Dexus is about community.

Coakley said anecdotal feedback from stakeholders and within the business to the rebranding was overwhelmingly positive.

“We’re feeling more and more confident it’s a brand approach that resonates,” she said. “It gives us a flexibility we’ve never had before to communicate where the business is today and where we’re headed.”

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Putting the ‘human element’ back in marketing

During the recent CMO Momentum conference, Paul Mitchell shared how marketing leaders can create cultures that deliver

Paul Mitchell

Managing director, The Human Enterprise

The rise and rise of voice search

In 1982, an AT&T employee by the name of Plotzke predicted the rise of voice: “In fact, it has been predicted that, by 1990, well over half the communications dollars spent by businesses will be for products and services that include voice technologies.

Michael Jenkins

Founder and director, Shout agency

Is design thinking the answer for the next generation of marketing?

The speed and pace of change will never be slower than we’re experiencing today. So in this era of unprecedented change, how can brands meet soaring consumer expectations, stay relevant and deliver differentiated and connected experiences?

Merryn Olifent

Senior consultant, G2 Innovation

Bullshit

John Winkler

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

End your financial worriesAre you a business man or woman? And you are in need of an urgent loan as to start up your own business? Or do ...

lance

Kmart turnaround chief to exit Wesfarmers, Target

Read more

https://uploads.disquscdn.c... [magic school bus] KID: where are we going today MS. FRIZZLE: the zoo KID: but last week we went to SPACE ...

Germain3161

Sephora Asia details its journey to data-driven decision making

Read more

DP Apparel bietet große Auswahl Audi Rennbekleidung in Deutschland zu den besten Angeboten. Das Geschäft bietet auch qualitativ hochwerti...

DP apparel

Audi Australia gets a new CMO

Read more

this is a really great news

Vincent Mouton

Mobile-first banking startup showcases fresh brand identity

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in