Marketers carefully weigh building names to lure buyers

December 27, 2011 10:16AM

From left: MiMA, One Jackson Square and Jasmine Mir, senior vice president of Corcoran Sunshine who is marketing the building
As new residential developments begin returning to the city’s skyline, the New York Times directed its attention to the names bestowed upon them.

According to Elizabeth Hawes, the author of a historical book about city apartments, the practice began at the turn of the century as a way of “validating the decision to live in an apartment.” She added: “it was pretentious but reassuring.”

Today, names are used to sell or rent apartments and marketing teams have several factors to consider when branding buildings. First and foremost, they must consider the developer’s vision for the building. For example, Related kept harping on the central location of its West 42nd Street tower before brandishing it MiMA, or middle of Manhattan. Similarly, Hines Interests and RFR, which developed 122 Greenwich Avenue, wanted to highlight the condominium’s relationship with nearby Jackson Square, so Corcoran Group dubbed it One Jackson Square.

Marketers also focus on any historical significance the building, or its location, may have, the ease of pronunciation, and optimizing Internet search engines, URLs and email addresses. Meanwhile, they avoid negative connotations — in any language — at all costs. The Times noted that despite all the thought that goes into naming a new development, most names are forgotten within a decade, after they’ve achieved their goal of selling units. [NYT]