This article is an extract from Transmission Private’s monthly newsletter, The Lede, which tracks the world of reputation management for private clients. You can sign up for the newsletter on our website via the tab at the bottom of this article or by completing the form here.
Good afternoon. 👋 Welcome to this month’s edition of The Lede, themed on landed estates and heritage properties. The last 12 months have been a difficult time for landed estates and their owners. Historic properties rely on hire revenue to meet overheads... which disappeared into thin air. 🏰
How will landed estates respond to the pandemic? Many owners will have woken up to the risks of becoming too dependent on a single revenue stream. Over the coming months, diversification will be at the top of agricultural estates’ to-do lists.
Where will diversification come from? We’re expecting landed estates to flock into brand creation, whether it’s marketing their properties under a brand name for vacations; launching products, such as food and beverage lines, under that brand name; or trying to license their brands to overseas interests for various reasons.
The Duchy of Cornwall was one of the first to squeeze maximal value from their brand, launching a holiday cottage village, creating a Duchy gin, selling organic food and drink through Waitrose, amongst other things. Others will follow Prince Charles’ success.
But what will set different landed estates apart? I expect we’re about to go into a hyper-competitive period as landed estates quickly launch brands to diversify their income streams; it’ll be a race. In this climate, it is critical that landed estates have strong, attractive, and magnetic reputations to set themselves apart.
- Local community credentials. Recent research by Transmission Private found that a landed estate’s community impact helped them appeal to members of the public.
- ESG and commitment to the environment. The same research showed that stakeholders were looking to partner with estates with strong environmental credentials.
- Historic connections. The third most important factor for stakeholders (surprisingly not first) was the role that the estate had played in British history. Estates need to emphasise the historic character of their estate, pulling out interesting facts, tidbits, and stories.
The takeaway... it’s not easy to commercialise a landed estate or launch a heritage brand. Reputation will be key to your success, and that means thinking about the local community, ESG, and your historic story. 📕