Purple: From Real Estate to Lifestyle

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While some brands in the real estate industry are working to improve their market share, some are struggling for visibility. But for Purple Group, the ambition is to consolidate its expansion plan and become the market leader, writes Raheem Akingbolu

In the last five months, many questions have been raised by experts and business owners on how best to communicate with consumers during the lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has almost crippled businesses worldwide. Should brand owners halt all marketing communications activities until the crisis subsides? Should they leave everything to chance or find a new way to communicate?

While the questions have remained unresolved, local and international analysts have been busy proffering solutions. One, it was generally believed that halting marketing activities would do nothing but kill businesses. Rather than leave things to chance, brand owners were charged to look for how best to communicate, not relying on the traditional platforms alone. It has also been recommended that companies that deserve rebranding or any form of positioning must act fast before their loyal consumers look elsewhere.

Recently, Purple Capital Partners Limited, a Nigerian leading investment firm and real estate developer took the bull by the horns and changed its name to Purple. The company also took another giant step and actualized what was said to be a well-conceptualized brand extension by unveiling its lifestyle business lines. With the new development, observers believed that the Purple Group has not only contended well with the challenges that come with the current global crisis but has proved to be on top of its game.

Stakeholders in the company have commended the move because of its strategic relevance to the ongoing repositioning plans of the Purple Group. Besides, it aligns with the global practices of companies that target the broader audience. The Purple Group is believed to be acquainted with the basic rule that brand aspiration should reflect on identity. A common example is that of an established company that rebrands in order to appeal to the millennial crowd. One company that has done this very successfully is Adidas. In the past few years, the sports retailer has gained considerable market share—to competitors like Nike and Under Armour—by capturing the increasingly large athleisure segment adored by millennials.

The Journey, The Synopsis

According to the management of Purple Group, the announcement about the rebranding of Purple Capital Partners Limited and the change of name to Purple was in line with the strategic repositioning of the company. Also, its flagship multi-use centre, Maryland Mall, in Lagos will now be known as PurpleMaryland while the ongoing development in Lekki is to be known as PurpleLekki. The decision, it said, was in line with the group’s core belief in continuous innovation and customer satisfaction.

The Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Olayide Agboola, who made the announcement in Lagos, stated that the rebranding and repositioning took effect from July 1. He also indicated the process would be implemented on all the company’s physical and digital touchpoints.

Speaking on the new direction for Purple, Agboola explained: “We are refocusing our brand and extending our reach beyond just real estate development. We see the need to curate affordable lifestyle experiences by leveraging our expertise in real estate development. With MarylandMall, now PurpleMaryland and our on-going development with PurpleLekki, we are integrating retail, arts, entertainment, media and advertisement, family fun, food and drinks, e-commerce and financial services all in one through superior mixed-use centres and services. Our new focus is clear; working with our range and network of partners, we are creating affordable lifestyle experiences for our consumers across all income levels.”

Agboola further pointed out that all the group’s facilities and ongoing development were also rebranded and would be addressed with the Purple prefix (PurpleMaryland, PurpleLekki) while its new services would also bear a touch of the purple identity as well. He, however, added that to keep in touch with the group’s brand heritage, they kept the same colours and logo symbol.

Speaking on what the new identity connotes, the CEO said it signified growing strength, resilience and elegance, noting that it represents the significant growth and successes it has recorded over the past few years.

He said: “Ours is a story of sheer resilience, best practices and excellent service delivery to our partners and clients across the group. With this brand repositioning, we are re-committing to our core beliefs and ensuring unwavering commitment to our values, to our investors and to our esteemed partners. Our refreshed brand clearly communicates these values. We are also excited to unveil the brand identities for our new services and ongoing development projects.”

More Opportunities for Patrons

According to Agboola, with the new development, PurpleLekki, PurpleNano, PurpleShop and PurplePlay have all been designed to give customers more value for money. For instance, he explained that PurpleLekki, the all-new lifestyle centre in Lekki, Lagos, currently under development, will occupy a land size of about 10,000 sqm and a few floors which will be for retail, entertainment, serviced accommodation, and private offices.

For PurpleNano, Agboola stated that the premium and standard studio apartments were conceived with the modern professional in mind and available in 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom and 1-bedroom variants.

“These ‘nanos’ are furnished to fit the peculiarities and taste of the Lekki Market and provide a peaceful, cozy space for occupants and visitors,” he stated.

Speaking of the future, the company also has plans to venture into the e-commerce space with brand ‘purple.shop’. Purlple.shop will work with the base of retail, fashion, food and entertainment partners, and service providers in Purple centres. With this, they can reach even more customers through online channels. The e-commerce platform will also provide marketing tools and real-time analytics to optimize growth.

While pointing out that the group’s identity may have been refreshed, he was quick to add that the company’s focus remains. “We are creating affordable lifestyle experiences for our consumers through our principal investments in these superior mixed-use centres and services. We also remain thankful and committed to our partners and we will continue to utilise our expertise and experience to deliver alpha returns and provide best service to our customers across the group,” he pointed out.

Significance

Beyond the fact that the rebranding and brand extension would shore up the profile of the brand, its major significance was that it coincided with the fourth anniversary of the leading retail shopping outlet. The shopping hotspot is the leading neighbourhood retail and entertainment centre in Lagos and plays host to a mix of local and international brands including Shoprite, Genesis Deluxe Cinemas, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Uber, Workstation, Medplus, Miniso, PEP amongst retail, hospitality and entertainment brands.

The Maryland Mall is a redevelopment of the Maryland Business Plaza seating on a 7,700 sqm piece of land and located on the ever-busy Ikorodu Road, Lagos. The construction of the mall was said to have begun in September 2014 and was opened to the public in 2016. The mall contains three floors with a mezzanine, about 50 stores and hoists on its external façade the largest outdoor screen in sub-Saharan Africa spanning 550 square meters, a unique feature that sets it apart from any other retail centres in Nigeria.

While capturing the feelings of the Maryland developers toward the mall, Agboola, expressed pride in the achievements of the mixed-use centre. He praised the discipline, focus and resilience of the partners, occupants and everyday customers at the centre, appreciating the value created over the years.

“The successes of Maryland Mall showcases the fact that domestic investment fuelled by the indefatigable spirit of Nigerian entrepreneurs is key to driving national economic growth. We are proud to be supporting the retail and entertainment industry and creating lifestyle experiences for Lagosians on that axis,’’ he said.

‘’We are leveraging the success of this flagship project to grow our footprints in retail, entertainment and lifestyle by delivering similar assets within the next few years. This we have started with the development of a new mixed-use centre in Lekki, Lagos. This is a bigger development; occupying about 10,000 sqm and a few floors which will be mixed-use – retail, entertainment, serviced accommodation, and private offices. It’s a larger development and our success with Maryland Mall gives us the confidence to go for more.”