CBRE Group Debuts New Tagline, Positioning

CMO Leads Brand Overhaul With 'Build on Advantage' Campaign

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Commercial real estate company CBRE Group is unveiling a new brand campaign Wednesday with the tagline "Build on Advantage."

The integrated campaign, including print, online and social media, was developed with brand strategy agency Brand Union, New York, and the budget is less than $1 million.

"Over the last 10 years or so, the company has been going through incredible growth, both organically and through acquisitions," said Paul Suchman, who was named global CMO last year after serving as executive VP-worldwide director at BBDO, New York.

CBRE is a $7.2 billion provider of commercial real estate services, including property sales and leasing, facilities management, research and consulting. It was spun off from Coldwell Banker in 1989 as CB Commercial Real Estate Group, and since then has acquired companies in property management, investment management, asset valuation and other commercial real estate services. It changed its name to CBRE Group in 2011.

"With all that growth, we found ourselves at an inflection point -- no one was stewarding the brand, and there was no CMO," Mr. Suchman said.

Mr. Suchman was hired in August 2013 to lead a brand overhaul and make marketing a priority at the firm.

"Commercial real estate is not typically a marketing-driven industry," Mr. Suchman said. "Historically, the company has gone to market on a functional platform. We set out on a journey to make our brand a business differentiator."

Working with Brand Union, CBRE conducted in-depth research with its business executives, customers and other key stakeholders to uncover the key value proposition and competitive differentiators for the company.

What emerged was the idea of "advantage," Mr. Suchman said. "It's a very powerful word that we as a company can credibly own. We provide a competitive advantage for our clients, we create advantage for our people, and we find advantage for our shareholders."

The new tagline, "Build on Advantage," will appear in print ads running in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and other newspapers, and online ads will run in those publications and others targeted at business executives.

"We want to claim this idea of 'Advantage' in the marketplace, in the same way that IBM owns 'Smart,' Accenture owns 'Performance,' and GE owns 'Imagination'," Mr. Suchman said. "Our positioning is, 'We transform real estate into real advantage.'"

The ads feature skylines of prominent cities like London, New York and Hong Kong with the headline "Advantage" in bold, and copy reading "At CBRE, we build advantage for our clients, our shareholders and our people."

The campaign also includes a landing page and an extensive social media campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. On Instagram, #HumanAdvantage features inspirational quotes from CBRE employees and clients.

CBRE also launched an internal campaign for its more than 44,000 employees in 350 offices around the globe with online videos, posters, social media and an internal microsite.

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