In 2013, Dundee Realty Corporation, a leading Canadian real estate manager and developer, approached BMD to design a new visual identity and articulate its brand positioning.Michael Cooper, President and CEO, tasked BMD with rebranding a number of Dundee-branded companies, including several Canadian and international sub-brands, under the Dream master brand. Dream's brand architecture includes Homes by Dream, Dream Development, Dream Centres, Dream Office REIT, Dream Industrial REIT, Dream Global REIT and Dream Alternatives Trust.The result is a clear brand architecture and a refreshed visual identity for Dream. In addition, our team produced a brand launch video, and designed a new website, stationery system and environmental graphics package for the Dream offices. BMDcontinues to work with Dream to rollout the new identity system both in their communications collateral and their corporate office spaces.
1.In 2013, Dundee Realty Corporation, a leading Canadian real estate manager and developer, approached BMD to design a new visual identity and articulate its brand positioning. Dream tasked BMD with rebranding a number of Dundee-branded companies, including several Canadian and international sub-brands, under the Dream master brand. The result is a clear brand architecture, brand positioning and a refreshed visual identity for Dream. Our team produced a brand launch video, and designed a new website, stationery system and environmental graphics package for the Dream offices.
2. The client's initial intent was chiefly to create a new identity, and a new name: primarily to satisfy contractual conditions in the split the real estate components of Dundee from the original Dundee Corporation. Reading between the lines, Dundee Real Estate's initial brief described a disparate group of companies and 1000 employees that needed a big idea around which to rally. BMD advised that a new brand should not only be about sounding and looking different, but give the company an identity that both employees and clients would be energized by.
3. BMD brought additional criteria to the brief, including:
(a) creating a purpose-based positioning for the entire group of companies – making the brand about the people in the company rather than the products/services.
(b) creating a brand architecture that decreased the perception of a disparate group of companies – moving towards a structure that made customers and investors (and employees) feel like the 1000 people in the group of companies was working together.
4. BMD's process began with extensive interviews with key stakeholders across all of Dream's businesses, including the senior leadership team and the President &CEO, Michael Cooper. We synthesized our findings into key insights about the company and brand that then informed a brand position that articulated who Dream is, how it operates and most importantly, what the company believes in.
Subsequently, through research workshops with the senior leadership team at Dream, we presented key findings from the interviews and crafted exercises to strengthen our understanding of who they are now and how they wanted to be perceived by the end of the exercise.
We worked closely in an iterative process with Dream's senior leadership to ensure that all work would stem from and be guided by a foundation of a set of design principles and brand position. BMD then expanded the engagement to involve over 300 of the company's employee's at an annual meeting that took part over 3 days. These workshops helped BMD and Dream, to introduce the new positioning to gain valuable feedback and engagement in how their brand was evolving. To ensure full transparency, the results were synthesized and presented back to all who participated at the closing ceremony of the annual meeting.
From there, we took all that we had learned from the extensive research and brand positioning phase to guide the visual concepts that BMD developed for the visual identity. During the schematic design phase, BMD created three concepts and at the end of this phase, one concept was chosen (by the senior leadership team) as the new visual identity for Dream.
In addition to the visual identity guidelines, BMD worked closely with Dream to design and produce content (written and verbal) for communication pieces to help launch the new brand across all of Dream's businesses. These assets, including a brand video, stationery, annual report inlays, brochures, and environmental interventions, launched Dream's new brand to all 1000 employees, as well as numerous partners, clients and shareholders. BMD continues to work with Dream to rollout the new identity system both in their communications collateral and their corporate office spaces.
5. Dream's CEO recognized the potential of the new brand early, hiring BMD's Project Director client-side a few months into the project and establishing a Brand & Culture team. The Building Better Communities idea became a catalyst both internally and externally, and made it easier to introduce a set of values that makes both Dream employees and external stakeholders feel this is a real estate company focused on purpose beyond profit.
BMD's work with Dream on their brand positioning and brand identity helped clarify how Dream communicates itself both internally and externally; internally, creating a strong sense of company culture and ambition towards a common goal, and externally as the company evolves itself with clients, investors and the general public.
Home-buying consumers in western provinces embraced the new brand quickly, with increased brand recognition and approval than the previous brand. In 2014, Canadian Pacific chose Dream as a partner to redevelop billions of dollars worth of its land across Canada, partly due to an alignment with the values of the senior management and development teams at Dream (in comparison with other companies on their shortlist). In the design community, the project generated almost 30,000 views and 942 likes on BMD's online portfolio.
Dream's mission has evolved into becoming Canada's most innovative and successful real estate company. This means operating with the speed and discipline of a world-class technology company. Dream's brand story and contemporary identity, are important tools on the road to achieving that lofty goal.