Contrary to common perception, naming projects is a well-researched and executed exercise. Most leading developers invest a great deal of psychology and marketing thought in this process. The aim is to best convey the value proposition and market positioning of the project in one or a few words. At other times, the goal may be to stir up a certain aspiration, in the minds of the target clientele or associate the project to uber-luxury or select global locations.
For example, continental names intend to conjure images of exotic European locales and life there. Generally, it is the theme-based or luxury projects and gated townships that get named in such a fashion. The developer tries to evoke a sense of ‘arrival’ in the buyers’ minds, apart from representing the global ambience and exclusiveness that such a project would offer.
Two upcoming projects in Mumbai have been named after Paris (featuring French-styled apartments) and Miami (as the project gives a great view of the Mahim bay). In Bengaluru, Prestige named two projects after London’s Kensington Gardens and Wellington Park, as they have a lot of open spaces, greenery and recreational facilities.
In Noida, an under-construction mixed-use development is called ‘Twin Towers’ – perhaps, with the intention of making an impression as an edifice. Sometimes, names are associated to architectural styles too. For instance, a project inspired by Roman architectural style is called ‘Romano’. Projects can get other names too. ‘Fable Castle’ in the National Capital Region (NCR) is so called, because it is based on fables by Walt Disney.
Another project in NCR is called ‘La Vida’, which means ‘live life’ in Spanish. Developments around the Buddha F1 racing circuit in NCR, has buildings named ‘Speedway Avenue’, ‘Grand Stand’, ‘Grand Circuit’, etc. In Bengaluru, a luxury offering flaunts its elitist tag through the name ‘White Meadows’, which naturally conjures up images of pastoral grasslands.
How it all began
In Mumbai, this trend was most probably started by the Hiranandani Group at their flagship township in Powai, where each building was named after a Greek god or a foreign locale. The developer continued with this practice and because of its success, this unique exercise was adopted by several other developers and further innovations followed.
Different developers follow different schemes. Godrej Developers often name their buildings after foreign flora and precious stones. Thane’s Vasant Vihar area has many buildings named after Indian flora and trees, many of them having a special place in Indian culture.
Foreign flora has emerged as a common favourite, for developers across India, with many residential buildings and entire townships, named after exotic flowers. DLF’s Camellias in the NCR is inspired by an evergreen shrub’s flowers, said to symbolise desire, passion and refinement. Sobha’s Mayflower in Bengaluru, is inspired by what is considered to be the tree of love.
Now, developers are getting more innovative. The name for Omkar’s ‘Worli 1973’ project in Mumbai, is derived by merging the location’s latitude (19°) and longitude (73°). Another developer has used its initial ‘W’ to name projects. One of its projects is named ‘W54’, clearly derived from this initial followed by the number of units it was initially supposed to have. ‘Three Sixty West’ presumably gets its name because its height is 360 meters and all apartments face the western direction. ‘Avenue54’ probably gets its name because select roads are called avenues in Santacruz and the area’s pin code ends with 54. So intense is the competition of using unique tags that most developers maintain a shroud of secrecy around their projects’ names, until they have actually kicked off their marketing campaigns.
Affinity to European names
Call it a post-colonial legacy or the universal human psychology of finding foreign-sounding names more attractive but there is no denying that the Indian customer’s psyche, equates such names to better value propositions, international concepts, design and amenities. Not only non-resident Indians (NRIs) but local buyers too, are impressed by the idea of world-class designs and amenities, associated with foreign names.
Increasing globalisation has exposed Indians to international locations and the global appeal of such names attract a niche set of buyers. Also, such names are seen as neutral and cosmopolitan. Given the tangible results of using such names in recent years, it is a trend which is here to stay and developers are bound to get more and more innovative, with the science behind naming their projects.
(The writer is national director – research, JLL India)