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Marketing guru: ‘Why Strike brand must be retired for Purplebricks’

Marketing expert Simon Leadbetter has recommended that Purplebricks absorb its owner’s brand to consolidate its market position. 

Leadbetter, former group marketing director of Countrywide and founder of unchained.marketing, has made the recommendation based on YouGov and TwentyEA data covering 15 key metrics that contrast the two brands' relative performances.

The data suggests that a consolidation would not only solidify Purplebricks' position but might also bring significant benefits in terms of overall brand recognition and trust, Leadbetter said.


Leadbetter’s analysis, using YouGov research, shows Purplebricks scores almost 11 times better when it comes to brand awareness and almost 16 times for positive impression and 15 times for consideration.

YouGov Data to 13th August 2023 Purplebricks to Strike Ratio By Metric Purplebricks Score Strike Score Purplebricks Brand Rank of 30 Strike Brand Rank of 30
Aided Brand Awareness 10.8x 86.30% 8.00% 1 23
Positive Impression 15.8x 20.50% 1.30% 1 22
Consideration 14.5x 22.00% 1.50% 1 22
Positive Quality 15.0x 15.20% 1.00% 1 24
Positive Recommend 14.5x 15.10% 1.00% 1 22
Positive Value 16.5x 19.90% 1.20% 1 16
Ad Awareness 16.8x 21.40% 1.30% 1 8
Purchase Intent 31.9x 7.70% 0.20% 1 19
Positive Satisfaction 11.4x 3.50% 0.30% 1 23
Positive Buzz 13.2x 8.40% 0.60% 1 15
Word of Mouth 10.6x 6.10% 0.60% 1 15

While Purplebricks overwhelmingly outperforms Strike in most key metrics, a closer look reveals that Strike shows promise in transaction-related metrics based on TwentyEA data for August.

In the 'instructions' metric, Strike ranks eight with a 0.9% score compared with Purplebricks' 1st rank and 1.8% score.

The ranking narrows even further in Sold Subject to Contract, where Strike ranks 6th with 0.9% against Purplebricks' 1st rank and 2.2%. 

In 'exchanges', Strike stands at 4th with a 1.1% score, not too far behind Purplebricks' 1st rank and 2.5%.

TwentyEA Data to 13th August 2023 Purplebricks to Strike Ratio By Metric Purplebricks Score Strike Score Purplebricks Brand Rank Strike Brand Rank
Instructions 1.9x 1.80% 1.00% 1 8
SSTC 2.4x 2.30% 1.00% 1 6
Exchanged 2.5x 2.80% 1.10% 1 4

Leadbetter said: “This might suggest that when it comes to facilitating transactions, Strike is closer in performance to Purplebricks than one might initially assume based on broader brand metrics.

“It raises the question of whether Strike's operational aspects could add value to a unified brand strategy. But Purplebricks is still the consumer brand bar none.”

Leadbetter suggests Purplebricks’ brand position was bought rather than earned, highlighting that it spent 33% of its £76m revenue on marketing before the Strike takeover.

He said: “This extravagant investment, especially for a decade-old business so no startup, highlights the need to refocus and refine the business model to achieve a more significant market share, which currently stands below 3%.

“Something else is wrong if buying massive brand awareness doesn’t translate into market share 

“Despite its massive marketing investment and brand awareness, Purplebricks has a net recommendation score of 29, this is below the average score of 36 for national estate agencies, indicating product-level issues that massive marketing spending can't fix. Strike is lower at 26.

Given the “overwhelming evidence,” Leadbetter said he recommends retiring the Strike brand soon and focusing on Purplebricks. 

He added: “Whatever the industry thinks, Purplebricks has secured a strong position in the minds of homeowners. 

“The company has an unrivalled brand position and many great agents so should now tackle proposition-level issues that have kept its market share in the single digits despite profligate marketing spending and high levels of brand awareness.”

  • Chris Arnold

    I'm astounded by the lack of marketing skills within this industry from not only this contributor but from other blinkered "experts" that rely on data to build their argument.

    The sad truth is that brands such as the original EMoov, House Simple, Purplebricks, Strike and others had more money than sense.

    We live in an age where consumers wilfully disengage from advertising whatever the media platform.

    "Consolidating brands " wont solve the issue until these businesses learn that Message first and then Platform is key.

    Whats the message from either brand? The same, but cheaper? It's hardly compelling or inspiring, but hey. Who cares because consumers - when prompted said this!

    Simon Leadbetter

    Hello Chris. Well, that took you less than one minute to furiously bash out. Are you okay?

    I am genuinely astounded by the profound lack of marketing knowledge in your response.

    While I agree that in today's saturated market, consumers are more discerning about the messages they engage with, brands must prioritise their message over just platform reach. That's why I teach "audience, message then media" in my 30 years of Marketing course.

    But then you say… “blinkered "experts" that rely on data to build their argument.” What on earth are you talking about? Are you actually arguing that relying on data to construct an argument is wrong?

    Plus, the corker, "We live in an age where consumers wilfully disengage from advertising whatever the media platform." What on earth are you talking about? So the organisations that spent £34.77 billion on advertising last year know less than you (that number was 'data', by the way)?

    While it's essential to recognise the nuances of marketing strategy, we can't ignore the facts presented. The data indicates a significant disparity in brand performance between Purplebricks and Strike. Moreover, Purplebricks' market presence is undeniable, suggesting that their message resonates with a segment of the audience.

    I'm curious: rather than just the usual angry trolling, incoherent strawman arguments, and personal attacks, what would you recommend as a compelling message for these brands that goes beyond "the same, but cheaper"? What unique value proposition should they emphasise to stand out in this competitive landscape?

  • Chris Arnold

    Since my honest opinion is deemed "angry trolling with incoherent strawman argument", I find it hard to respond to your usual derogatory remarks.

    You persistently enquire whether " I am ok?" as though those having different views fron your own are somehow of unsound mind or lacking credibility.

    It's now clear to me why you tenure at several estate agencies has been so brief and why the results so under-whelming.

    As far as message, there is only ONE that is valued by consumers and it requires Category Design, not slick sales copy.

    Fixing the problem that no-one in this industry has been able to fix, perceived lack of trust, is paramount. Agencies wont achieve it through competence or by striving to be better than, or more informed.

    Character ticks that box.

    Simon Leadbetter

    Thank you for your continued engagement on this topic. It's always beneficial to have diverse opinions that can stimulate thoughtful discussions rather than making derogatory remarks accusing people of being blinkered.

    Derogatory: showing a critical or disrespectful attitude
    Blinkered: having or showing a narrow or limited outlook.

    Firstly, I believe no one should take offence in a professional setting. Our aim here is to understand and reflect on different perspectives and make informed decisions. That said, let's get back to the core of the discussion.

    Your point on trust is paramount. Trust is the foundation of any successful business, especially in an industry as pivotal as real estate. But trust isn't achieved in a vacuum; it's a culmination of effective messaging, transparency, competency, and consistent delivery of promises.

    While the data does provide a clear picture of brand performance metrics, the underlying essence, as you rightly mentioned, is the message. And the message does need to be more than just "the same, but cheaper".

    However, I do believe in the power of data-driven strategies. Data offers insight into past performance and helps brands forecast and shape their future. It's not about dismissing the human element but enhancing it with quantifiable evidence.

    To address your suggestion of focusing on Category Design and addressing the perceived lack of trust, I'd like to know more about how you envision Category Design could revolutionise the real estate industry. Specifically, how should brands like Purplebricks and Strike leverage this approach to create a stronger, more trustworthy relationship with their customers?

    Let's focus on constructive dialogue and solutions. Looking forward to your insights.

  • Samantha Sullivan

    I'm curious as to how purplebricks have continued to hold any market share at all with the mass of redundancies still happening. How many agents are actually left now?

    Simon Leadbetter

    That is such a good question, Samantha.

    The two parts of the answer are they maintain their #1 position, having invested an extraordinary sum in their brand, meaning they are front of mind when people are thinking about who to call to value their property. The combined Strike/PB had 41,514 new instructions in the last 12 months, more than players #2 and #3 combined. Whether a fan of the business or loather, customer awareness has been created.

    Purplebricks claims they have "over 600 Local Property Experts based all over the UK"

  • Chris Arnold

    Thank you Simon.
    Derogatory has been a consequence of my listening to all the uninformed opinion, but I do try to rail it in whilst remaining authentic.

    Most current business strategy can be categorized as either The Biggest (market share), or The Best (technology).

    Avoiding the “better than" trap which directly influences marketing budget can only be achieved by being Different From. The difficulty is that most things can be easily replicated. So my view on Category Design is that agencies should sell the ideology, not sell the service.

    If there is a perceived lack of trust from consumers, lead with that. Fix the problem that everyone imagines cannot be fixed. As you say, that requires Transparency and effective messaging.

    Transparency with regard to competence isn't enough - firstly it can be replicated and secondly, the consumer isn't qualified to judge estate agency competence.

    What they are better qualified to judge is character. We all do it, everyday.

    So my marketing strategy for Purplebricks would be to position them as Category Queen of Trusted Agencies and to focus on individual personal branding for each of their 600 "experts " . Building awareness through podcasts, digital and free print magazines, blog and video. Not detracting fron the corporate brand but enhancing it much like a football team is a collection of individual stars. That would require a degree of freedom for and trust in their employees which might be impossible given the current upheaval.

    With Strike, I would Categorise them as Technology Kings. Focusing on how tech can improve the efficiency of the sale. Have them constantly inflaming the problems that can arise when humans become lazy, or over-burdened.

    A Category King as Tech Innovator and a Category Queen as Most Trusted.

    This isn't really the ideal medium to discuss deep ideas such as Category Design. Those that are interested can find out more at category pirates. Christopher Lochhead and Nicolas Cole are outstanding thinkers.


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