Condominium Branding Strategy of the Mitsui Fudosan Group
April 26, 2002
Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.
Mitsui Fudosan is pursuing a "power brand" policy to raise the status of each of its businesses. Based on this policy, the Company has implemented various strategies in its condominium business. Now, we are raising the bar with our "power brand strategy." Since last year, we have undertaken a fundamental restructuring covering all three major processes of our condominium business model---planning/manufacture, sales, and management/after-sales service---while adopting a core "customer-driven" perspective. Our specific strategy, currently being formulated, emphasizes improved product quality and enhanced services, and clarifies the means for achieving such goals.
Over the past several years, the condominium market has seen a remarkable improvement in the quality of stock due to strong competition among suppliers. Meanwhile, the trend of aging population and declining birthrates continues, creating new markets as more and more small families demand inner-city living. This generally favorable trend has been assisted by low interest rates and falling property prices, and has not been tempered by prolonged stagnation in the real estate market. Since the latter half of 2001, however, the direction of the Japanese economy has become cloudy, and some segments of the property market have slowed. In the condominium segment, we have entered a phase of "megacompetition," in which customers have become more selective than ever. We at Mitsui Fudosan are fully aware of the severity of the situation, recognizing that only companies that are truly appreciated by customers will survive.
To prevail, we must provide a "total" package of services that will impress customers. In other words, by providing customers with high-value-added products and services we can earn their praise and generate stable profits as a result. This is an essential precondition for survival in the current difficult market environment. By successfully implementing our strategies, we can maintain our strong market position. For this reason, we remain committed to pursuing this course of action.
Details of specific strategies are outlined in the following pages. Mitsui Fudosan will pursue its "power brand" strategy in all business domains. Throughout this quest, we will focus on building an optimal value chain that generates synergistic benefits for the entire Group in the future.
Outline of Mitsui Fudosan Group's Condominium Brand Strategies
1. Raise customer satisfaction by improving product quality
"Condominium quality" in the eyes of customers can be classified into three components.
- Latent quality (invisible to the eye): This covers basic performance features that cannot be easily distinguished at first, such as structural integrity, durability, and energy-saving qualities.
- Experiential quality (appeals to the senses): This covers the "Wow!" factor.
- Object quality (tangible aspects): This covers the look of the final product.
Note: Traditionally, the idea of "quality" focused mostly on object quality. While object quality is very important, customers want an advanced combination of all three quality types. For this reason, we decided to create new ways to achieve such total quality.
Using TQMP to achieve latent quality
Mitsui Fudosan will introduce TQMP (total quality project management) to achieve a high level of latent quality. TQMP is a project management technique for attaining comprehensive quality throughout a project. This also helps us conform to ISO 9001, the international standard for quality management systems.
Note: Traditional "economic specifications" are part of latent quality in terms of saving energy and enhancing building longevity. We are committed to addressing global environmental issues. As a strategy in demonstrating this commitment, we will continue promoting acceptance of eco-friendly designs and raising the basic performance of our offerings.
Utilize "knowledge bank" to enhance experiential quality
We will build an in-house "knowledge bank" to help raise the overall design quality of our condominiums. In this way, we can undertake developments while sharing experiential quality know-how on each project.
Note: Mitsui Fudosan was the first company in the industry to receive a "Good Design" award for its condominiums. This record is a reflection of the experiential quality evident in our offerings.
Basic interior construction strategies to improve object quality
Mitsui Fudosan will establish "Basic Interior Construction Guidelines" clarifying its object quality standards. The Guidelines will set out exact acceptable quantitative measurements for visible discrepancies in the final product.
Note: In order to effectively implement the above strategies in each project, Mitsui Fudosan will set up Customer Service Departments within its two urban development divisions as part of a corporate reorganization. The departments will have subsections responsible for handling post-contractual design changes, providing construction status reports, and otherwise taking care of customers. Similarly, the Quality Management Department will carry out work based on TQPM.
2. Raise customer satisfaction by improving service quality
(Mitsui Fudosan Co., Ltd.)
Create "owners' styling" (design modification) system to ensure consistent response for all projects
From the spring of 2002, the Company will put in place a system for handling detailed changes in design to suit the lifestyle characteristics of customers. The system, called Owners' Styling, is the first to be set up by a developer. To coincide, we will also establish an IT system that enables sales and execution staff to confirm design change details for each property online. (The relevant interior design consultants will respond to the design changes.)
Upgrade after-sales service centers to directly handle such services
Since April 2001, Mitsubishi Fudosan has established in-house after-sales service centers to provide direct services to customers. To date, we have centers covering the Tokyo Metropolitan Area and the Kansai District. In the future, we will set up centers to cover Sendai, Nagoya, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima.
(Mitsui Real Estate Sales Co., Ltd.)
Customer support center opened to serve property purchasers
We will strive to improve our services to customers making inquiries between signing of contract and the actual move to the purchased property. Here, we will provide assistance with respect to such matters as loan switching and relocation procedures. We will make full use of the Internet to ensure efficient, fast, and courteous responses. (This service will start in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area in April 2002 and will be successively extended to other regions.)
(Mitsui Real Estate Housing Services)
Expand sales network and set up quality control section to enhance management services
In the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, we have branches and sales offices in 10 locations providing services closely tuned to local needs. To support the activities of these operations, we will set up the Quality Control Section and the Life Mate Office, charged with the task of hiring, training, and giving guidance to property managers ("life mates").
(Joint Mitsui initiative)
Condominium training facility to upgrade level of training and education
We will establish the Mitsui Fudosan Group Condominium Academy to serve as a comprehensive training facility covering development, sales, and management.
To ensure that the abovementioned strategies are effectively conveyed and understood, at the end of 2001 we produced our Brand Design Manual as part of our communication strategy. The Manual is designed to facilitate the formulation and implementation of strategies. We are also conducting advertising based on consistent brand communication rules and incorporating a new property logomark and other CI elements.
Note: As a result, we achieved a greater impact without raising the advertising budget. In fact, we may consider reducing the advertising budget, because the same effect can be achieved with lower outlays.
Mitsui Fudosan's Condominium "Power Brand" Strategy(PDF:61KB)