x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Aldar changes brand from property to people

Aldar Properties has changed its logo in a rebranding exercise designed to emphasise the 'human' aspects of its business.

Aldar Properties has changed its logo in a rebranding exercise designed to emphasise the "human" aspects of its business.

The Abu Dhabi property developer has based its new identity on six "brand experiences", as it looks to refocus on its operations as a service company as well as a developer.

"When we started, Aldar was purely doing construction," said Ousama Ghannoum, the company's marketing and media director. "Now … we are still developers but we are managing these assets.

"What we're trying to create with this new brand is the emotional element of it. It's not bricks and mortar, it's people."

The new logo is "representative of our evolution from pure development company to a more customer-centric organisation", said Mohammed al Mubarak, the chief commercial officer of Aldar.

Mr Ghannoum said Aldar previously had branding guidelines for a number of different projects. These will now be simplified under the main brand.

"It makes it much more simple … to open a new school or office, to keep the same guidelines for the brand," he said.

The financial crisis and property slump in some parts of the UAE was also "taken into consideration when we did the brand", Mr Ghannoum said.

The six "experiences" Aldar is focusing on are: "creating communities; injecting excitement into life; indulging in the best life has to offer; taking time for yourself; creating inspiring working environments; and enjoying spontaneous activities", it said.

The international branding consultancy Wolff Olins spent 18 months working with Aldar.

"It's more about the human scale, more about people before bricks - it's about experiences," said Abed Bibi, the managing partner of Wolff Olins in Dubai.

Wolff Olins's other clients include Kuwait Finance House, the Omani government's tourism development and investment arm Omran, and the Kuwaiti telecommunications operator Wataniya.

The company also created the controversial logo for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Aldar's move to reposition its corporate identity comes after two high-profile rebranding exercises this month.

On Friday, the MySpace website, owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, unveiled a new logo that features the word "my" with a space next to it that will be filled by "user-generated artwork".

Gap also revealed a new logo, which it quickly scrapped after it was criticised as being "unsophisticated". The US retailer has reverted to its previous logo, which dates back 20 years.

bflanagan@thenational.ae