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  • Mal McCallion

OnTheMarket Rebrand?



If you're a $34Bn business, chances are that you know a little about marketing.


So join me, please, as I try and make sense of the above image, posted by OnTheMarket President Jason Tebb a few weeks ago. - and, more particularly, what it says about Jason's 'Revolution Roadshow', rolling through a town near you sometime in the next eight (!) months.


The above image is OTM's new, post-CoStar (valuation = $34Bn) takeover, looking all fancy and fresh. Of course, when you takeover a distant company you're going to want to have strong branding featuring in (say) the kitchen area of your new co's offices, so that all of the UK team feel as connected as possible to the CoStar mothership across the pond.


But - hang on a sec, though - what's that name in the middle of the 'brand sandwich' slices of CoStar Group and OnTheMarket? It's not one that has had any traction, or recognition, in the UK to date ... and yet its prominence quite clearly outshines the more prosaic OnTheMarket name (which doesn't even get its usual font or logo).


At the time that I saw it, I in no way patted myself on the back for my prediction in October, as the takeover was announced, that "Homes.com ... with its SEO heft and snappy name, will replace OnTheMarket's brand." But I think it's pretty obvious from subsequent posts here and here that Homes.com is going to be the new brand in due course. Which, frankly, it ought to be, as it will bring huge international, associated benefits to OTM's customers (and scare Rightmove, an emotion that it has rarely, if ever, felt).


So all of this seems pretty cut-and-dried, I has been thinking, until I saw something a little more confusing that happened this week. Jason Tebb's 'Revolution Roadshow' is rolling through various locations over the next eight (!) months including, recently, Silverstone. There, the banners are resolutely old-skool OnTheMarket, with a small, floor-side CoStar logo as the only nod towards the Stateside overlords.


 

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Why would this be? As above, $34Bn says you're pretty switched-on to messaging, so this can't be an accident. The 'Revolution Roadshow' is stopping short of revolving the brand at this point, even though it's pretty much been announced to the kitchen-dwellers of old OTM, as well as the rest of us via LinkedIn posts, that Homes.com is coming to an industry sponsorship opportunity near us very soon.


Maybe they've got cold feet and we'll see the Homes.com icon, font and text disappear from future shots of their terrific offices? Or perhaps they're waiting to get the most out of the Revolution Roadshow banners for Jason's tour over the next eight (!) months - also not compromising core messaging, scaring horses or discouraging any potential new agent joiners - and will announce the new brand in January 2025 via a huge campaign? Or even - whisper it - the company's flagship EA Masters' sponsorship in November?


Don't get me wrong - I think that the whole CoStar / OTM / Homes.com coming together is a massive benefit to the industry, because it's going to create genuine competition where a monopoly currently basks. But careful brand sequencing?


Turns out that $34Bn doesn't necessarily stop you from blurting the quiet 'rebranding' bit out loud, too quickly - and that hastiness can perhaps cause a little bit of confusion where there really didn't need to be any ...


(As an aside - and, again, I like Jason and what OTM is doing - if you happen to be at one of the Revolution Roadshows, when it gets to the Q&A bit, would you mind asking him about when he thinks the brand is going to change? And then, if you could let the rest of us know the answer, that would be great ... :) )


 

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