Blaze Marketing has moved to spacious, new, loft-style offices in The Ironworks on South King Street in Manchester city centre to accommodate a growing team and increasing workload from property sector clients.
Graphic Designer Richard McLeod is the newest Blaze recruit, specialising in brand identity and print. Formerly with Neville Johnson, Richard brings high end innovative design experience to the Blaze service offering.
Creative Director Kevin Whitter commented: “Richard has a passion for illustration and photography which, combined with his branding experience at Neville Johnson, makes him an ideal fit for our team. He is already contributing to our bespoke full service solution for clients – from the initial branding of a property right through to its on and offline supporting collateral.”
Blaze now employs five full-time staff and is the only property marketing specialist in the North West to have a qualified chartered surveyor working alongside creative professionals.
Co-founder and RICS-qualified Daniel Bourmad provides clients with a uniquely-informed perspective on what it takes to succeed in the sector.
Fuelling expansion at the agency is a cluster of high profile contract wins including Summers Quay for Cavendish Property Developments in Stalybridge. Blaze has been working on the £8million scheme of 67 one and two-bedroom apartments which is part of the stylish canal-side commercial and resi mix development.
Kevin again: “We developed a detailed strategic plan for the site including a brand, brochure, signage, marketing suite and website and am delighted to say a third of the apartments were pre-let in the first month of release – six months prior to practical completion.”
Katy Davison, Marketing Manager from end client New Charter Group, said: “The Blaze team are incredibly creative, professional and enjoyable to work with. They’ve really understood the brief from day one and been able to deliver on all aspects of our marketing and design needs and we’re looking forward to turning further leads into sales.”
Thorngrove Land & Property is another client benefiting from a high quality marketing campaign of signage, brochures and website from Blaze in support of Copper Beeches – an exclusive development of four luxury homes in Sandbach.
Tailored promotional work for urban space developers McCauls on the Warehaus Ancoats site has also kept the agency busy. This intimate development of just 32 properties set around its own landscaped courtyard includes a converted warehouse, two rows of new town houses and apartments with their own front doors.
Kevin commented: “This is a particular mix of character and new which needed a host of marketing tools to give it a strong identity in the market.”
Blaze has also recently won a project in Wolverhampton to help developer Black Acres market its first ever city centre office block conversion to residential. Blaze named the scheme Belvedere Residence and created a stylish brand, marketing brochure, website, animation and signage as well as a full launch campaign.
Daniel concluded: “We recently celebrated four years in the market and are really pleased with progress and excited about what 2018 will bring. We certainly have the people, skills and surroundings to increase our national client base, add further value to our current clients and enable further significant growth this year.”
The Blaze team took part in Roughrunner’s 10k run with 20 “Total Wipeout” obstacles in a very wet, windy and muddy Cheshire yesterday. Despite the conditions, we made good time swimming through rivers, helping each other up ropes, and pushing each other throughout the run and up the dreaded final Travelator ! This picture sums up the strength of our team…..
It was great fun, and an amazing experience, and done in the name of charity for the Mariposa Trust (you can still contribute to help us reach our target at : https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/blaze-marketing1 ). The primary function of the charity is to support anyone who have been affected by the loss of a child at any stage of pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
Despite everyone being in a bit of pain today, we’re talking about signing up again next year !
Blaze Marketing have recently increased the team and appointed Benazeer Singh as the new Account Manger focusing on our residential marketing offer. Over the course of the past year we have experienced positive and continued growth and one of the key areas where future expansion has been identified is the residential market, which has led to our most recent appointment. Being based in Manchester and offering strategic marketing resources to property companies around the UK, we have decided to push our services to the residential sector too. Due to market trends and economic statistics we see a need for creative marketing campaigns to stand out from competing schemes.
There seems to be a flurry of constant statistical and economic detail regarding the UK housing market, whilst although saying different things, all point to one major fact, a shortfall in affordable housing. The term affordable housing perhaps has changed in modern times. It does not necessarily mean governmental schemes or social housing for those on low income, more so general housing that is simply affordable for the nation to get on to the property ladder. Various schemes under the governments ‘Help To Buy’ initiative – ‘First buy equity loans’ and ‘Shared ownership’ are just some of the ways the government has tackled this so called issue, but even though this may be helping, the UK is inevitably short of available properties.
The government has made various announcements. Last month they set a target of building 1 Million homes by 2020 with the current housing minister Gavin Barwell stating ‘We need to do better’ as only 150,000-170,000 homes are being built each year. Even though the average requirement being 200,000 homes per year, analysts still believe the shortfall is greater due to the current demand being set at around 300,000.
Last week the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, in his Autumn Statement said £3.7billion would be allocated to building more than 140,000 homes across the UK. The government has also agreed to spend £1.4billion on affordable housing and this could lead to 40,000 more affordable homes being built.
With the clear message that there is a lack of available housing what are the other identifiable facts that also point to the rise within the residential market over the coming years and also its effect within the North West.
Scarcity Of Land For Development:
One of the major issues is where to build the required housing to keep up with the demand for residential homes. Land is becoming less readily available and there is an increased pressure by a number of committees such as various developers and the GMCA (Greater Manchester Combined Authority). The GMCA are working alongside Greater Manchester’s 10 local planning authorities to identify the right land within the right places so that homes, jobs and the required infrastructure can be delivered up to 2035. The overall reaction to their housing master plan, the GMSF (Greater Manchester Spatial Framework), has focused on the proposed release of 3% of the city-region’s Green Belt area. With the added pressure also coming from developers the government looks set to give way to release more protected Green Belt zones to ease the pressure of demand and control the required supply for residential housing.
Economic Climate & Foreign Investment:
One of the more pivotal issues has been the recent Brexit movement that resulted in a fall in the GBP. Whilst this fall has put a strain on the UK economy, it has increased demand and value within the UK property market. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors back in October 2016 declared that ‘House prices rose at the fastest rate in seven months and it will continue to rise over the next 3 months as a result of a dire shortage of homes for sale’.
Lets not also forget the flurry of overseas institutional companies, funds as well as sole investment from buyers in China, USA and other countries that has resulted in a demand for good quality robust properties. Whilst the GBP is weak there has never been a better time for overseas investment to buy within the UK. Chancellor Phillip Hammond presented a proposal of a 13-scheme Northern Powerhouse portfolio to Chinese vice-premier Ma Ka part of the UK-China Economic & Financial dialogue. A £5Billion foreign investment has been outlined for projects within the North, with seven of them earmarked within the North Western regions.
New Generation Rent:
The Private Rented sector (PRS) or Build to Rent sector has had much press lately due to the fact that even though further housing is required not everyone may be able to afford getting onto the property ladder. As mentioned there have been various incentives and schemes to help first time buyers, but this does not initially solve the problem. A clear indicator is the fact that home ownership is the lowest it has been in 30 years. The introduction of developments where housing is purposely built for rent and not for sale has been greatly received not only by developers but also politicians and financiers. Heath Thomas the head of Real Estate Finance North West at NatWest, recently said that ‘The government needed to provide more clarity on how it would meet house building targets. An emphasis on low cost homes to rent would offer an alternative to those requiring houses who are not able to support a deposited finance structure or credit availability and also counter act against the shortfall of residential housing’.
The UK is entering unchartered territory. A clear shortfall in housing has been clearly identified. A high investment from overseas is inevitable. Pressure of utilising various Green Belt Zones for development and offering not only deposit structured support for house buyers but also facilitated rental only schemes, have illustrated the dynamic thinking to ease the pressure of the demand for housing. It is also important to consider whilst some of the major UK house builders may be capitalising on this trend lets not forget the rest of the market. With an abundance of smaller projects coming out of the woodwork, potential smaller property businesses will thrive from the current trend hitting our UK property market – Great Britain its time to deliver !
Manchester-based niche property marketing agency Blaze Marketing has appointed Benazeer Singh as the company’s new Account Manager.
The appointment coincides with the company’s 3rd year anniversary and follows a number of recent client wins including Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, Together Group, Marshall CDP and Himor, as the agency looks to strengthen its positioning as one of best in the North West for property marketing. Since its inception in 2013, Blaze has tripled in staff numbers and now has 5 full time staff. Turnover has also tripled from year 1 to year 3.
Prior to joining Blaze, Benazeer was a brand and product manager for Synergy Health, having worked in the healthcare sector for 13 years. Benazeer also has experience working within an advertising agency.
Benazeer Singh commented:
“I look forward to working closely with the team at Blaze and supporting them as the agency continues to grow. Daniel and Kevin have jointly earned an enviable reputation for their marketing expertise and deep sector knowledge, and together they have attracted some of the property sector’s leading brands.”
Daniel Bourmad, director and co-founder of Blaze Marketing, said:
“Since our launch in 2013, we’ve achieved a substantial market share and have grown significantly. Benazeer is a great addition to the Blaze family and will help us grow our already strong client base with a particular focus initially on the residential property sector. This is a critical next step in our journey to establish ourselves as the number one property marketing agency in the region.”
Kevin Whitter, creative director at Blaze Marketing added:
“As we reach the end of our third year of trading, we are excited to welcome Benazeer to our team and delighted that our clients continue to stay with us for our design flare, creative thinking and in-depth understanding of the property sector.”
So – how was my first trip to MIPIM in Cannes ? Was it worth going to ? Did I get any business ? Was it expensive ?
These are the questions I’ve been asked and here are my answers.
As a MIPIM-Virgin I had heard about the international property event every year during my property career. Each year stories filter out, and myths become circulated around the rumour mills. Even the Easyjet flight magazine suggested it was rumoured to be “a big jolly for property folk”. Apparently more champagne is drunk during MIPIM than at the film festival !
4 days in Sunny Cannes with over 21,000 official delegates from 89 different countries and around 2,450 exhibitors must surely be chaotic and is it really necessary ? That’s not even mentioning the thousands of unofficial attendees like myself. I was determined to find out one way or the other and being able to justify my trip to my business partner !
We decided to represent our property marketing company by simply being there, being seen and networking at various events that I had been invited to as well as meet up with the many contacts that only work within half a mile of our city centre office.
A cheap early booking with easyjet and an extremely small couch in someone’s hotel room made it affordable so the scene was set to place ourselves on the international property stage. We had designed and printed branded maps of Cannes highlighted with the main meeting spots on for the NW contingents, which were given out on the main flights out, and around Cannes, so our brand was being promoted from the start.
The flight out was around 95% full of property people which in itself was a great networking opportunity to chat with clients, and others which were on the target list, but seemed otherwise difficult to meet with during the working week. Everyone seemed excited and some were regular MIPIM goers with advice on the best venues and places to go to whilst others were also venturing for their first time like me. This was the 27th year of MIPIM.
The networking started from sitting down on the plane chatting to the guys on my left and right. An attempt to get an invite on their yacht party was perhaps a little optimistic but was worth a go !
People make their way to MIPIM in various ways – Cycling from London, by train, boat, flights and cars. Just getting there seems to have become an event in itself.
Arriving in Cannes I met up with a good client who I took for a sunny lunch by the port. Walking along the Croisette on the stunning coastline past hundreds of like minded property folk in suits it all became clear why it’s so popular. I mean why not ! The tree-lined boulevard was furnished with banners from Cushmans, CBRE, Savills and all the main global players and I couldn’t help thinking about the cost for these sponsorships. All the restaurants, yachts, hotels and bars had been taken over for the week by the various property firms hosting breakfasts, lunches and dinners for their clients and staff.
As we sat in the sun people-watching “SO THIS IS MIPIM” I thought. And I liked it !! Who wouldn’t.
My 2 day trip was partly filled with appointments set with existing clients, impromptu catch ups in the bars, and sponsored evening events. One meeting was set up with a company who saw a tweet about MIPIM we had sent, and they we’re looking for property marketing advice ! How fantastic – and a great opportunity was secured. Shame it was on the 2nd day which poured down non-stop. Although it dampened the setting, everyone were still in good spirits.
Throughout the first day I found the “Manchester Bar” which was full of people whom I bump into at lunchtimes on the street back home, but the main difference was obvious. Everyone was relaxed, and in a like-minded attitude of taking time to chat and not rush off. The next infamous venue became evident as I heard a roar of laughter from around the corner where hundreds of people were gathered standing outside in the sun – “Cafe Roma”. This is where it all happens I had heard. Instantly I saw several people I knew so there I stayed until my next appointment.
I didn’t have the access pass for the Palais where the exhibition stands were based for all the different cities, countries and companies representing their regions and services to the masses. I felt I missed out a bit but there were plenty of others that didn’t go in “the bunker” as its we’ll known. Manchester had its biggest delegation this year with 99 different companies representing the city although through social media I managed to keep up with the numerous announcements being made throughout the trip. In fact the whole MIPIM event was amazingly well organised and co-ordinated. This place knew how to do MIPIM and in it’s 27th year it’s had enough practice.
Throughout the trip, relationships were strengthened and new contacts were made. I managed to speak with those people I knew only by name but had not had the opportunity of meeting beforehand. Promises of new business on my return were made and that for me meant I had succeeded with my MIPIM venture.
The networking continued on the return journey at the airport and on the plane.
The 2 day trip was actually quite exhausting, with little sleep and long days, but well worth it.
Did I get any business from it ? Well this will depend on me following up on my leads and conversations during the trip, but yes the opportunities arose and will hopefully pay off.
Would I go again ? I think the answer is Yes ! I don’t think I could do a full week without a lot of preparation and events in the diary, but a couple of relatively intense days worked well for me. Perhaps better planning next time when setting venues for meetings instead of running up and down the Croisette every couple of hours.
I can now join in the conversations about MIPIM and relate to the true meaning of its purpose. Is it a big jolly ? Well you can make of it what you want really but we all seemed to have a jolly good time !
Niche property marketing experts, Blaze Marketing, has appointed David Gaskell as graphic designer in its Manchester office.
David will complement, and further strengthen, Blaze’s robust design and delivery credentials and will be based at the firm’s office on St Ann’s Street, central Manchester.
After successfully graduating from Leeds College of Art, where he studied graphic design, David went on to hone his design experience and capabilities with a range of roles at a number of design studios, including Manchester Solutions, MARK Studio, B&W Studio and, most recently, Creative Spark.
Through his previous design roles David has developed both a passion for creative branding and a strong design background in art direction, editorial and digital marketing.
David gained recognition at the YCN Student Awards 2013/14 for his work on a Nescafe Azera campaign.
Daniel Bourmad, Director at Blaze Marketing said;
“We are thrilled to welcome David to the Blaze team. He has achieved such a wide range of solid skills and experience within his previous design roles and he will be a hugely welcome addition to the Blaze family.
“Our services continue to expand as digital technology becomes the biggest player in our property campaigns. David’s skill-base adds further insight and experience to the team as our clients embrace our cutting edge digital marketing solutions.”
We held our 2nd Anniversary party at Sub-Zero at Avalanche in Manchester. There was a fantastic turnout and the food and Blaze Cocktails flowed throughout the night, with DJ spinning the tunes!
We’re very proud of what we have achieved in such a short period of time, and really thankful of our supportive and growing clientbase, so a celebration and a thank you was the aim of the night.
Here’s a selection of some photos from the night ..
Blaze Marketing are flourishing in the growing property market and have won a number of high profile campaigns in recent months. They are also expanding their niche property marketing agency with an imminent recruitment of another creative agreed to join their busy studio.
Daniel Bourmad of Blaze said “There is currently a building Boom and a lot of investor confidence around. Investors are also buying, and then looking to re-brand to improve their assets, so a good strategic marketing campaign is essential. Which is where we come in !“
Some of Blaze’s recent wins include :
AURORA STOCKPORT – Stockport Council is to transform a derelict former council estate close to J1 M60, into a new modern, industrial park of 154,500 sq ft. Blaze have been selected as design & marketing consultants by scheme agents CBRE having won a 4 way competitive pitch. Kevin Whitter, creative director explains, “The brief was to create a name and brand for the site known as Gorsey Bank in Stockport. We chose a name that would stand out as a location for industry but also project to the local community something positive is happening in the area. The name that was chosen is Aurora Stockport, meaning a new light, a positive change. Our role will include providing all the marketed collateral needed to promote the scheme. Signage, website, marketing brochures, targeted advertising and other ideas will be undertaken.” Daniel Bourmad of Blaze said, “We have very quickly carved a niche out for our marketing services to the industrial property market in particular. Our understanding of this market helps us create bespoke campaigns that stand out from others.”
MANCHESTER PLACE WEBSITE – Blaze won a competitive pitch to create a bespoke website for Manchester Place. The Council–Government partnership is working with developers, investors and land owners to speed up the supply of high quality housing across the city and wanted a platform that would deliver clear information to a regional, national and international audience. Blaze will create a bespoke website, with interactive search facilities giving up to date relevant information on available sites as well as details of how to access the support available to push forward development.
PROTOS – Blaze have also been instructed by Peel Environmental to name and brand their newly revealed vision at Ince Park, Cheshire. Kevin Whitter of Blaze said “Protos, by Peel Environmental, will become a Northern hub for energy, innovation and industry and will see a collection of industries at the 126-acre site, themed around energy and innovation. Our brief to create a name and brand, and associated marketing collateral for the scheme, allowed us to be creative and really identify what Peel’s vision for the site represents. The thinking around the Protos name was to put it on the map as the ‘first’ site of this size in the north for energy. Protos (meaning FIRST in Greek) will be putting Cheshire clearly up front as a leading Northern Powerhouse location.
In addition to the above wins, Blaze were also recently shortlisted as finalists in 2 categories at the NW Entrepeneur awards 2015, for the Start up Company & Property Entrepeneur categories. They are also holding their annual party for their 2nd year business anniversary for their clients next week, to help celebrate their continued success.
Cars and typography, two things I adore. Both born from similar aspects. Precision, balance, form, weight and both can be beautifully crafted. However, they are two things that don’t go together too well.
Sat in traffic some time ago I realised I was staring at 7 different typefaces, SEVEN! All of them poor and only 2 on brand to the car manufacturer.
Now, you may think, who cares or who will notice, and in some ways, you’re right, however… Take Audi for instance, they spend billions of Pounds (Euros) developing cars and their marketing. All of which are slick, on brand and have that lovely synergy running through every aspect of their material. Advertising, probably some of the best in the automotive industry. Brochure, beautifully photographed and designed documents with a whole host of print finished to finish the product off, some now with augmented reality. Then you go into a showroom, which is like something from NASA, clean, bright and laid out with absolute precision. All of which have consistent branding elements, logo, colours, shapes and typeface, two in fact on ALL of their marketing material. So if they went with the same theory of typography they are using inside their cars, the marketing material would look appalling, they wouldn’t do it and you would notice. The brochures and advertising would have a completely uncomfortable feel and not have the same soothing experience. The Audi brand wouldn’t stand for the same qualities and values.
The same must apply inside the cars, if the brand type was flowed inside the cars, they would give a nicer feel and a more comfortable experience. When we’re driving our cars we look out of the windscreen and when our eyes are looking inside the car, we’re looking at a reading or display ie, letters or numbers. The speedo, petrol gauge, radio, air con temperature, gear, sat nav, hands free etc, all of which have a font displayed and all are different.
I don’t understand where their thinking is. I’m in the car for at least 2 hours a day, staring at the font “Eurostile Extended”, please please help! Car manufacturers, sort it out !
As the industrial property market continues to improve, niche property marketing agency Blaze Marketing remains at the forefront of campaigns to market some of the highest profile developments in the North West, having won four since the start of 2015 including Union Square awarded this week.
The Union Square, Trafford Park joint venture between Marshall CDP (development) and M&G Real Estate (funding) recently announced its speculative start on site this April. The scheme is a 175,000 sq ft (16,257 sq m) unit. Blaze is working with joint agents B8 Real Estate and Davies Harrison providing a full marketing campaign (to include branding, signage, brochures, website, advertising, etc).
Blaze has also been appointed to Winwick Quay in Warrington, for La Salle Investment Management following its recent purchase of one of the North West’s largest industrial estates, just off J9 of the M62. Working with Colliers and Knight Frank, the company has been instructed to re-brand and create a new improved marketing campaign for the scheme facing the A49.
Well established scheme, Wingates in Bolton has also recently instructed Blaze to promote remaining availability following the purchase of the scheme by M7 Real Estate, which includes 11 units totalling 128,449 Sq ft, and Blaze is working alongside agents GVA and LSH.
Castlehill in Bredbury, bought by Cornerstone, is looking to re-position availability at the scheme through a re-branding exercise and Blaze is working on this scheme with B8 Real Estate & JLL.
Daniel Bourmad, co-director at Blaze said, “It’s become quite apparent that in recent months there have been a number of high profile investment purchases of industrial schemes in the North West highlighting renewed confidence. As the new owners seek to re-position their schemes in more modern and forward thinking ways, Blaze has been asked to step in. We not only offer re-branding designs, and the usual signage, brochures and digital solutions, but also interactive tours which allow potential occupiers and agents to view the scheme online with 360 degree views from their desktop.
As technology progresses, this type of an interactive solution lends itself fantastically to property marketing and we’ve found this a successful approach with clients such as Logicor and Peel. It’s especially useful for buildings planned but not yet on site alongside CGI’s.”
Kevin Whitter, head of creative at Blaze, added, “In line with our business growth plan and continuous expansion of our client base, we’re keen to grow our team whilst retaining our professional and creative values. We enjoy pushing boundaries with our digital offering and want to be seen at the forefront of technology when considering clients’ campaigns. We aim to offer well planned and thought-out, bespoke campaigns for all of our clients.”