Corporate real estate mirrors brand: a conceptual framework and practical applications

Chesta Khanna, Theo J. M. van der Voordt, Philip W. Koppels
  • Journal of Corporate Real Estate, September 2013, Emerald
  • DOI: 10.1108/jcre-01-2013-0003

Branding by real estate

What is it about?

The purpose of this paper is to show how international companies (can) use real estate as a means to reinforce corporate identity and to express brand values in order to evoke a positive image in today’s competitive world. A review of literature was conducted, in combination with seven case studies including analysis of company documents and in-depth interviews with marketing experts and real estate advisors, and a cross-case analysis showing the translation of brand core values in real estate strategies of these multinationals. The findings show that brand values are incorporated in the location strategy, building strategy, workplace strategy and at portfolio management level by all companies, but in different ways and with different focus points. Most commonly used brand values are “Green” values, i.e. sustainability, reliability, transparency, innovation and people oriented. Branding policies take into account both internal stakeholders such as the employees and external stakeholders such as customers and investors. The number of interviews is rather small and limited to Dutch staff members of multinationals. Reliability of the findings was enforced by triangulation through connecting the interview findings to literature and strategic documents. Additional empirical research is needed to further explore which strategic choices can be made and in particular what are the actual costs and benefits of “branding by real estate”.

Why is it important?

The different ways to translate corporate brand values in real estate and the conceptual framework that has been developed to describe the step-by-step approach – from defining a vision to translating corporate culture and corporate identity into a well-considered real estate strategy – can be used by policy makers and real estate managers in real estate decision-making on strategic, tactical and operational level.


Dr. Theo van der Voordt
Technische Universiteit Delft

The paper links findings from corporate real estate management with insights from marketing theory and adding value by real estate.

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr. Theo van der Voordt