Project / East Ledang, Iskandar Puteri (formerly known as Nusajaya), Johor
Task / (details below)
Client / UEM Land
Year / 2008–2011
Landscape Architect / En. Hamid_Punt Garden
Key Photography by MidasTouch.
This project was undertaken concurrently with our work for Nusajaya.
East Ledang was formerly an oil palm plantation that UEM Land envisioned to transform into a premium 275-acre residential development. This was the second or third attempt to develop a township on this land. The last effort was scuttled due to the Asian Financial Crisis.
Our work for East Ledang covers an extensive scope that includes:
- Brand strategy
- Logo and Visual Identity strategy
- Landscape design concepts for 31 thematic gardens
- Communications, local and international (brochures, press ads, website, etc.)
- Outdoor advertising
- Marketing videos including original music composition
- Livery and uniforms
- Custom-designed gifts and premiums
- Wayfinding, signage and placemaking (landmark sculptures)
- Environmental graphics and information design for Sales Gallery
- Exhibition booth design (Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Hong Kong)
- Launch of East Ledang (with cast from the theatre production ‘Puteri Gunung Ledang’)
- Events and co-marketing programmes
CREATING THE USP & BRAND
East Ledang had been planned as a luxury residential enclave with lush tropical landscaping, but when we came onboard, there was no USP (Unique Selling Proposition) compelling enough to attract buyers or to justify its premium price, relative to what is offered by our competitors who also enjoy proximity to Singapore—Leisure Farm, Horizon Hills, Ledang Heights and later, the residences at the waterfront.
Poring over the details of the existing landscape masterplan, we counted 37 small outdoor spaces that were not utilised and recommended that these areas be turned into a collection of pocket gardens. We conceptualised a total of 31 ‘mood gardens’, based on the 31 days of a month, and reduced the number of precincts from nine to seven, to correspond with the seven days of the week.
Working closely with landscape architect, En. Hamid of Punt Garden, some of these ideas include:
- Wind-Rustling Garden (a ‘wind tunnel’ through a bamboo grove that guide the strong winds from the sea towards a cluster of wind chimes)
- Colour Garden (five rows of trees were to be planted on a steep slope. At certain periods in the year, one will be able to see five bands of different coloured flowers on the trees)
- Yin-Yang Garden (a garden of two parts: one comprising artists' sculptures and installations, the other containing intriguing forms found in nature)
- Garden of the Planet (an educational garden for children)
- Floating Garden (based on the concept of a Persian garden, with water reflecting the moon)
- Meteor Garden, Secret Garden, and so on.
Each mood garden was about half an acre or less, designed for minimal maintenance (i.e. no large expanse of flowering plants) and not exceeding an additional 6% of the total budget for landscaping.
The 31 mood gardens became East Ledang’s USP; and the brand identity and communication revolved around the idea that a family residing in East Ledang can now experience “a different mood garden, all within walking distance, every day, for a whole month”.
THE GARDENS BROCHURE
This 8-page brochure, describing the 31 mood gardens in detail, was one of the first to be released to reinforce the USP.
THE LOGO CONCEPT
As the garden / nature concept took shape, the logo was designed based on the general topography and landscape features of the development site.
THE MAIN BROCHURE
The new positioning for East Ledang was emphatically expressed through the descriptor and tagline:
The gardens of East Ledang, Nusajaya
This is how living spaces should be.
Keeping in line with this positioning, the main brochure therefore promotes space as the new luxury—a message that is particularly relevant to Singapore (East Ledang's target audience). We emphasised on the expansive exterior environment that is exclusive to East Ledang residents and their guests, as well as the spaciousness of the interiors of the residences, through the different types, functions, and benefits of space:
- space to stretch
- space to style life
- space that binds
- space to think
- space that reassures
- space that connects
- space to appreciate
- space to reflect
THE SECURITY BROCHURE
Another 8-page brochure detailing East Ledang’s security system, one of the most advanced at the time, was released to complement the main brochure for the residences. As our primary target audience is Singapore buyers, this is an important part of the overall strategy because crime in nearby Johor Bahru city (not Nusajaya) is often sensationalised by media on both sides of the Malaysia–Singapore Causeway.
INTRODUCING THE BRAND
Full-page teaser ads featuring models in a garden appeared in high society magazines. The advertisements featured a full-bleed image, as well as East Ledang's logo and contact number, but with no indication as to what the product was.
Photographs by MidasTouch.
VIDEO—NATURE: EARTH, WATER, SKY
A teaser video with original music composition was produced, focusing on nature, garden, air and water. This video was primarily targeted at Middle Eastern buyers, but it was equally appealing to all audiences.
Frames from the video were reproduced on the sides of the MPV that ferried potential buyers from Singapore to the East Ledang Show Village in Johor and back (with generous offerings of Godiva chocolate en route). The same frames were also reproduced on the inside of the door gift paper bags.
Specially designed floral motifs were part of a robust identity system applied consistently across all materials. Renowned local designers were invited to create gift items and uniforms. Below: packaging for a white leather key pouch with a Swarovski crystal button designed by Melinda Looi.
Targeted ads were conceptualised to engage audiences from different countries (as well as from different segments of the local population).
For Singapore, where the majority of home-owners or tenants have to contend with a small balcony garden, we focused on East Ledang’ expansive green spaces: the surrounding 31 mood gardens, a front or back garden; and for some house types, indoor courtyards—perfect for the greening of interior spaces.
For Indonesia, we focused on East Ledang’s proximity to world-class education (EduCity) and medical facilities. For South Korea, we featured the small Korean community in East Ledang; and applied similar strategies for advertisements for the Middle East, UK and Hong Kong.
Buntings placed around the show village bring colour, vibrancy and a vision of the development to what is essentially a cordoned-off, tidy and beautified area of a large construction site.
The East Ledang buntings and messages were updated every few months.
For our work on environmental design and place-making, see Placemaking_East Ledang.
Below: Buntings for the official launch based on four key points in the main residential brochure.
For premium projects, it is worth investing in quality hoardings as an indication of the high standards promised in the development. The hoarding was designed with curving aluminium strips that encases the key brand images on a metallic charcoal background.
East Ledang participated in many international property shows: in Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Hong Kong, UAE and the UK. Sometimes, it is a small section of the Nusajaya exhibition booth; at other times, it has its own booth.
We designed an ‘open’ booth that is both welcoming and iconic, differentiating it from other competitors.
Rows of fragrant flowers provide a pleasant scent to the exhibition area.
‘Floating’ posters give a sense of openness and transparency.
Key attributes of East Ledang were communicated using photo frames to convey a sense of home.
The names of the 7 parks and 31 gardens were displayed on the floor to reinforce our USP.
The same ‘open’ booth design applied consistently, above, at Suntec City, Singapore
For the East Ledang section of the Nusajaya Sales Gallery, we used the development's identity motifs to set up both open and private discussion areas. The motifs were applied on glass walls with two levels of opacity (transparent or opaque) to allow visitors the confidentiality required for their discussions.
The official Launch—with a special showcase of Puteri Gunung Ledang: The Musical, a critically acclaimed theatre performance—drew an enthusiastic well-heeled crowd from Johor, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. The event is remembered to this day as one of the most exciting property launches ever. The event was managed by our associate company, Fsquared (now known as Experiate).