You may have wondered why certain realty projects, such as ‘Worli 1973’, ‘W54’ or ‘Three Sixty West’ are so named. Or, why some developers come up with esoteric names, ranging from those of Greek gods to foreign flora, for their projects. Contrary to common perception, finalising a project’s name is a well-researched exercise carried out by marketing and strategy firms.
Most leading developers invest a great deal of time on the psychology and marketing impact of the name. The aim, usually, is to convey the value proposition and the market positioning of the project. At other times, names may be aimed at stirring certain aspirations in the minds of the target clientele or be employed to associate the project with uber-luxury or select global locations.
Continental names, for instance, intend to conjure the images of exotic European locales and the life in these places. Generally, it is the theme-based or luxury projects and gated townships that are given exotic names. The developer tries to evoke a sense of ‘arrival’ in the buyers’ minds, apart from representing the project‘s global ambience and exclusiveness.
Two upcoming projects in Mumbai have been named after Paris—featuring French-styled apartments— and Miami—as the project gives a great view of the Mahim bay, just like the view of the famous Miami beach. In Bengaluru, Prestige Group has named two projects after London’s Kensington Gardens and Wellington Park, as they offer lots of open spaces, greenery and recreational facilities. In Noida, a project has been named Twin Towers, perhaps, with the intention of making an impression as an imposing structure that defines the city’s skyline.
Names are also associated with architectural styles. For instance, a project inspired by Roman architectural style has been named Romano. Fable Castle in NCR has been so named because its architecture is inspired by Walt Disney’s fables.
Another project in NCR is named La Vida, which is Spanish for ‘live life’. Developments around the Buddha F1 racing circuit in NCR has buildings named Speedway Avenue, Grand Stand, Grand Circuit, etc., to evoke the imagery of professional car racing. In Bengaluru, a luxury offering flaunts its elitist tag through its name White Meadows, seeking to conjure up images of pastoral grasslands.
How it all began
In Mumbai, this trend was most likely kicked-off by the Hiranandani Group with their township in Powai. Each building of the group’s flagship project was named after either a Greek God or some foreign locale. The developer continued with this practice and, because of its success, it was adopted by other developers and further innovations followed.
Developers have their own idiosyncrasies. Godrej Developers, for instance, often names buildings after exotic flowers and precious stones. Contrast this with Vasant Vihar in Thane which has many buildings named after Indian flowers and trees—many of which hold a special place in Indian culture. Foreign flora, in fact, has emerged a favourite among developers across India, with many residential buildings, and entire townships, named after exotic flowers. Two prominent projects are DLF Camellias in NCR—inspired by an evergreen shrub’s flowers said to symbolise desire, passion and refinement—and Sobha Mayflower in Bengaluru—inspired by the mayflower tree, considered to be the tree of love.
Now, developers are getting more innovative and exclusive with some very distinct project names which have greater recall value. Omkar’s Worli 1973 project in an upscale precinct of Mumbai stands out not only because cricketer Virat Kohli—and an entire aspirational gentry—has bought sky villas here, but also due to the uniqueness of its name, which is derived by merging the location’s latitude (19°) and longitude (73°). This may very well be another first for Mumbai, though there are other projects using numbers in their names.
Another developer has used its initial ‘W’ to name projects. One of its projects is named W54— from the favourite initial and followed by the number of units the project was initially supposed to have. Three Sixty West presumably gets its name because its height is 360 meters and all apartments face west. Avenue 54 probably gets its name because select roads are called avenues in Santacruz, Mumbai and the area’s pin code ends with 54.
So intense is the competition of using unique tags that most developers maintain a shroud of secrecy around their projects‘ names, until they kick off their marketing campaigns. This is done to reduce the possibility of losing names to competition, as a robust copyright mechanism does not exist.
Affinity to European names
Call it a post-colonial legacy or the psychology of finding foreign-sounding names more attractive, but there is no denying that Indian customers equate such names to better value propositions, international concepts, design and amenities. Not only the non-resident Indians, but local buyers too are impressed by the idea of world-class designs and amenities associated with foreign names.
Increasing globalisation has exposed Indians to international locations, and the global appeal of such names attracts the jet-setting, niche set of buyers. Also, such names are seen as cosmopolitan. Given the tangible results of using such names in recent years, it is a trend that will stay. Developers are bound to get increasingly innovative with the science behind naming their projects.
Author: Ashutosh Limaye, National Director, Research, JLL India
Credits ET Realty