Timișoara (pronounced Timishoara) is Romania’s third largest city. It has always been a progressive, open, multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual city that boasted major achievements in science, technology, industry, arts and culture. However, the early post-Communist years have seen many of its industrial and residential estates fall into decay.
As more and more local and global businesses set foot in the city and its student population exploded, the demand for housing soared. Real estate projects mushroomed on the city outskirts, but the locals soon realised that a construction boom doesn’t necessarily translate into quality living. Although thousands of new units come into the market every year, it is very hard to find a flat that is centrally located, well designed, reliably built and decently priced.
Our client took over a huge, derelict industrial estate bordering Timișoara’s historic centre, right on the shore of the river that crosses the city. Instead of squeezing as much as possible to maximise profits, he decided to build a landmark project that would redefine Timișoara’s urban fabric. It would bring together over 1,200 flats, a class A office building, a global five-star hotel franchise, as well as large park and commercial areas in a generously spaced project.
The entire estate would be built around the needs of modern-day urbanites, but it would benefit the entire community: existing urban infrastructure would be rejuvenated and completed; newly developed park and cultural areas would be open to the public; residential buildings would mix flats for all budgets, and everyone living there would be guaranteed a great view.
We conducted extensive qualitative research to investigate the expectations of current and prospective homeowners from across the city. The results showed people were not aware of any major project that was at the same time well-built, decently priced and centrally located. And they were even more impressed to learn the new project would invest in open relaxation areas by the river and other facilities to the benefit of the entire city.
”We wanted a brand name that communicated the central location of the project, but also conveyed a project that is central to the community. A project built with heart, in the heart of the city,” said Adriana Liute, Managing Partner at Storience.
The brand name, ISHO, is literally TimISHOara’s middle. An uppercase logotype features a single, elongated vertical stroke to further suggest centrality and an outstanding presence. The slogan summarizes the brand promise: The city well lived.
Our work started in Q2 2016 and ISHO will inaugurate in Q1 2017. Over half of the first office space batch is already leased and several dozen flats have been sold, even before the sales team has officially kicked off. They now expect to reach their 2017 target of 400 residential units well ahead of schedule.
The name ISHO has been shortlisted by Transform Awards Europe 2017 in the ”Best Naming Strategy” category. This award, to be announced at the end of March 2017, honours innovation in naming.