Magazine article Marketing

Right Move for Woolwich?

Magazine article Marketing

Right Move for Woolwich?

Article excerpt

The Woolwich is becoming an estate agent.

It has only been a matter of weeks since The Woolwich became a bank but now Marketing can reveal that it is planning to stretch the credibility of its brand even further by becoming an estate agent.

Soon it is to open what is understood to be the first of a number of shops around the country which will offer a one-stop shop for home-buyers. The 20-year-old slogan 'We're with The Woolwich' will be given an extra fillip as the bank becomes an enhanced estate agent.

The Woolwich is to buy selected properties in an area, renovate them if necessary, advertise them and then sell them on.

Not only will house hunters be able to buy or sell homes through The Woolwich, but all the ancillary services, such as mortgages, house insurance and legal advice, will also be on offer.

By bringing all the services one would normally use in the process of buying a house under one roof, The Woolwich is posing a real threat to the established operators in a market that has traditionally been associated with bad practice and stress.

It could also bring gazumping to an end-a move which would win it a great deal of reflected glory.

Pilot project

Although the company is refusing to give details of its plans, it has confirmed its intention to become an estate agent.

"We are establishing a pilot project based on a single office in High Wycombe to test a method of house sales and purchase," says a Woolwich spokesman.

"No further details of this local pilot are currently available and it is too soon to speculate about the future. The Woolwich has a track record of conducting pilots prior to taking a decision about the introduction of new services and this pilot is no different."

The Woolwich could run the risk of its brand being tarnished by associating it with estate agents and the roller-coaster world of property, according to Neil Whitehead, a director of design and brand consultants Fitch. …

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