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Corporate real estate mirrors brand: a conceptual framework and practical applications

August 2013 | Chesta Khanna, Theo van der Voordt, Philip Koppels

The purpose of the paper is to show how international companies (can) use real estate as a means to reinforce corporate identity and to express brand values in order to evoke a positive image in today’s competitive world.


A review of literature, seven case studies including analysis of company documents and in-depth interviews with marketing experts and real estate advisors, and a cross-case analysis showing the translation of brand core values in real estate strategies of these multinationals.


The findings show that brand values are incorporated in the location strategy, building strategy, workplace strategy and at portfolio management level by all companies, but in different ways and with different focus points. Most commonly used brand values are “Green” values, i.e. sustainability, reliability, transparency, innovation and people oriented. Branding policies take into account both internal stakeholders such as the employees and external stakeholders such as customers and investors.

Practical implications

The different ways to translate corporate brand values in real estate and the conceptual framework that has been developed to describe the step-by-step approach – from defining a vision to translating corporate culture and corporate identity into a well-considered real estate strategy – can be used by policy makers and real estate managers in real estate decision-making on strategic, tactical and operational level.