Updated: May 11, 2022
London-based buy-to-let fintech, GetGround, has launched a new out-of-home (OOH) branding campaign in an effort to establish its brand as a trusted leader and provider in the emerging buy-to-let category. In this guest article, Alexandra Lamport, Senior Brand Manager at GetGround, explains the company's rationale for the campaign and its future brand-building plans.
Five months into my time at GetGround and we’re drawing breath after the execution and launch of our first out-of-home (OOH) advertising campaign.
On a mission to make assets more transparent, trustworthy and accessible, we’re starting with UK property — and putting ourselves on the map from a brand perspective is supportive of that work.
So much of marketing is based around iterative improvement: an optimisation here, an A/B test there. With brand building, however, there are times that you get the opportunity to take far bigger, braver steps.
A first move on the long road to building brand equity and awareness for GetGround, the campaign (routed in the concept of ‘inflation-beating buy-to-let’) was our first major effort in category identification for GetGround: establishing our work within the business of buy-to-let and our company as a trusted leader in this space. From bus stops to digital screens across major London stations, GetGround was seen and interacted with. A thrilling — if not equally terrifying experience — for any brand manager out there.
Why did we do it so early on?
When targets are high and budgets (as a Series A startup) are tight, marketing spending often falls to the tactics we know will return shorter-term results. For me, one overarching reason: is to begin to build trust and familiarity with our future customers. At a time when most of the advertising we interact with is served to us online, there’s something inherently different about the tactic of OOH. It is one of the few forms of advertising we observe ‘in person’, as we move about our daily lives. It has a longer life span, aiming to build memory structures rather than prompt decisive action. When did you last spot an advert and do exactly what it asked you to do? No, when it comes to OOH, the message is subtler, the branding more obvious and the intention longer-term. At GetGround, we’re looking to begin to build those brand associations today, knowing that they may take years to nurture, and even longer to convert.
That being said, it can in some circumstances, prompt a direct response. Inbound calls citing bus stop adverts are a quick vindication of a plan in motion, but when it comes to building the GetGround brand, we know we have much, much further to go.
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Where did I start once arrived at GetGround last November?
There are likely as many definitions of a brand as there are brand managers. One of my favourites is this: ‘brands are about feelings and feelings are complicated.’ If brands are about feelings they are also, most fundamentally, about the people who work for them.
I firmly believe the core of any brand comes from a company’s earliest days. This doesn’t mean you can’t make substantial changes to how that story is told, but if you don’t ground your thinking in that heritage, your later interpretation may not quite marry up with a founder’s intended identity for their business. While they may not be able to articulate this to you in brand terms, they’ll know when something doesn’t feel right and when your vision doesn’t match their own. Just as brand building comes down to engendering trust, so do the mechanics of how you build it internally.
And tech companies, perhaps more than any other business category, often do branding incredibly well. Combine smart, motivated people with an insurmountable mission and the promise of making a real difference, and courageous tech cultures are made — resulting in brave brands being created to represent them. From Klarna’s ‘smooth payments’ to Monzo’s ‘hot coral’ card, tech companies are awash with bravely executed branding strategies.
But these concepts must all begin somewhere. Iconic brands don’t start like that. They adapt and change over time, reinventing themselves to stay relevant to their audiences.
What are the future plans for GetGround?
In a fast-growing, ambitious business like ours, where the changes we hope to make are societal not just industry-wide, the challenge extends further. Driving behaviour change in a category as well established as the property market isn’t easy. And as buyers continually adapt and progress, so too must how we differentiate ourselves in the market.
One of the things I respect most about GetGround is our unwavering commitment to educating. We know that in order to win, we must first build trust, understanding and relevance with our audiences and we are willing to do that for free, for as long as it takes.
From a brand perspective, it’s why we invest in a proactive PR programme, why we seek to share insight and data with the market and why we attend, exhibit and speak at so many industry events. Being seen and heard is fundamental to how we see our value being shared and our brand is built. And this thinking extends to how people are treated internally. While we favour making data-led decisions, we’re also a business that prioritises human connection. People make time for each other, to explain, to learn, to come together.
What we’re doing here takes time. We’re refreshing, tightening, refining and building our brand — all at once, every day. Our pace and ambition make it hard for us to stop and define, so instead, we build as we go, improving and upgrading to also make space for those more decisive, bigger steps too.
Reputation, trust, credibility, and difference — are all fundamental to brand building. They are the core of what drives intangible, long-term value for businesses. As consumers ourselves, it’s why we choose one business over another, how our decision making time gets shortened, why we become less sensitive to price as we seek quality over cheaper alternatives and it’s why we advocate for a business's product or services to those we care about. Well at GetGround, we’re really just getting started — now surely that’s something we can all get excited about.
About the author: Alexandra Lamport is the Senior Brand Manager at London-based buy-to-let fintech, GetGround. GetGround is the UK's only digital limited company formation and management platform that simplifies buy-to-let (BTL) investing in the UK.
By making buy-to-let investing easier to understand, as well as explaining its benefits, GetGround, aims to help the rental sector become easier and cost-effective to execute. Thus believing that increasing access to asset ownership will enable a fairer and more productive world. To date, GetGround has three offices operating in London, Hong Kong and Singapore with tech hubs currently opening in Berlin and Lisbon.
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