Chief executive Alison Platt says Countrywide Group will always remain a “house of brands” but will nonetheless move to “fewer, stronger brands” in the future.
In a presentation to investors earlier this month - in front of a projected slide showing over 50 national or local brands which are currently under the Countrywide banner - Platt said that rebranding was “not about changing names” which she described as “a very expensive waste of time.”
Instead, she said any rebranding would be based on “great brands” that exist in some localities and how much the group could “expand their proposition.” This would involve some “tidying up” of brands as well she said, without detailing what that might mean in practice.
However, she insisted that Countrywide would always remain what she called “a house of brands” and said she could not envisage a time when there would be “one or even single digit brand numbers across this group.”
But the session was told that London was the market with “the biggest opportunity for smarter alignment of brands with customer segments.”
The session took place before this week’s announcement highlighting the latest management reshuffle and larger-scale reorganisation of the group, reported on Estate Agent Today yesterday.
In line with that re-organisation, the presentation explained the restructuring of Countrywide into four major business unita - Retail (the generic term given now to the group’s 1,000-plus sales and lettings offices), London (regarded as having sufficient unique characteristics to justify a geographical business unit), Business To Business, and Financial Services.
Platt told investors that “what we’re running here is a retail business” led by a newly-formed executive team offering the “best blend of sectoral experience and fresh thinking from more contemporary organisations who’ve really had to work to win in a consumer-driven space.”