Watts (chipotle) wrote,

Branding ahoy!

So a couple weeks ago I noticed that all the apartment complexes in the Tampa Bay area managed by Camden have changed their name to "Camden X," where "X" is a name chosen seemingly at random. "Chase Crossing" becomes "Camden Bay," "Marina Pointe" becomes "Camden Pines," and so on. (Both of those are somewhat near pines and somewhat near Old Tampa Bay, but one could exchange the names without raising eyebrows. The former Marina Pointe does have a marina.)

Today I went to Citrus Park TownCenter mall for a lunch of Mall Chinese. ("Mall" is a distinct regional Chinese food, like Schezuan and Cantonese. It is chiefly comprised of breaded chicken pieces in sauces based on corn syrup.) Today the mall was festooned with banners, signs, placards and balloons that all read "Westfield." The mall is evidently now known as "Westfield Shoppingtown Citrus Park," so it can be readily identified as a Westfield property, just like all the Camden-managed apartments can now be readily identified as Camden properties.

Okay. I don't know about you but I don't know any apartment dweller who goes apartment hunting with the thought, "I'm only interested in looking in properties managed by Trammell Crow Realty Services." I can't remember who managed the last two apartment complexes I was in (and in the case of Fernwood Gardens, I assuredly wouldn't be looking for anything that shared managers). If you're moving to another part of the country and you have to get into something sight unseen fast fast fast, maybe this will matter. Maybe. But you'll probably use an apartment hunting service, or poke through rent.net or some such, and you'll be looking based on what you can afford versus the amenities you consider important. I like the management crew at my current property, which is indeed Trammell Crow, but that doesn't mean I'll like another TCRS property. It's not as if Eleanor the assistant manager is going to be moving with me. (And for me, generic names aren't a plus. When I was looking at applying to a position in Spokane, Washington, I'd decided that I'd move to a complex there called "The Whimsical Pig." How could something like "Camden Bluffs" possibly compete?)

Branding for apartment complexes is silly enough, but shopping malls?

Is there any circumstance--seriously, now--in which you're going to think, "I'd really like to get something frivolous at Williams-Sonoma, but I'd better check to make sure I go to a Williams-Sonoma at a mall managed by Simon Properties?"

Is there a logic here I'm missing?

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