Cracking the Da Vinci Code-name Strategy

Cracking the Da Vinci Code-name Strategy

23 Mar, 2023

A few years ago, a well-known real estate brand launched a project. For two years, this project struggled and could hardly sell a few units. During this period, the conversation around it had taken a negative turn among consumers and the project needed a revival. So, the marketers came up with a strategy through which they sold the entire project! The strategy was re-launching it with a new ‘codename’. This move added freshness to the project and gave it an unexpected boost.

The codename strategy isn’t new in real estate. One of the real estate giants based in Mumbai has been using this strategy for a long time. However, it has become a real estate trend in recent years.



A codename is chosen based on various factors relevant to the project, like amenities, location, surrounding infrastructure and so on. It also depends on the purpose the brand has in mind. The intent behind it is to create curiosity among buyers about projects that are mostly in the pre-launch stage. When a brand is unsure about the best positioning for a project, they create a codename around one positioning and launch the project. If it works, they continue to advertise with the same codename; if it doesn’t work, they change the codename and relaunch the project with a different positioning. In a nutshell, codenames allow brands to market the same project in different ways without hampering the reputation of the actual project.

For more clarity, here’s an example: suppose a brand comes up with a project of 8 towers. The conventional approach is to sell the entire project with its original name, which can go on for a few years. Alternatively, the brand can give a codename to each tower based on different USPs of the project and make the launch of every new tower look like brand new. For instance, Tower 1 could be named ‘Jackpot’ after the complete package of offerings, Tower 2 could be named ‘Wonderland’ after its amenities, and so on.


Every brand doesn’t need the codename approach. It depends on the ethos of the brand and the kind of attitude they wish to bring to the project. Or when they have consequent projects lined up for launch. Usually, codenames are used by brands that are into performance marketing.


While codenames are great for attracting customers, they have a catch. Let’s say a customer is attracted to the communication of, say, Codename Rose. They research about it and are impressed by the amenities. After a few days, if they see the same brand’s hoarding with a different codename, they will naturally get confused and wonder what happened to "Rose ''. They may either feel that there’s something wrong with the project or question the credibility of the brand.

Codenames are a calculated risk. They have their pros and cons. Keeping in mind the ambiguities in the codename strategy, a better route could be A/B testing codenames with a selected audience. It will give a fair idea of which codename could be successful, point out loopholes, and generate feedback about the project before launch. All, without hampering the project's reputation.

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