Bangsar South or Kampung Kerinchi: a lesson in branding

1 year ago

Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil is pushing for a change in reverting Kuala Lumpur’s Bangsar South to its original name Kampung Kerinchi as part of his election campaign pledge.

Bangsar South, a 60-acre development by the UOA Group, used to be known as Kampung Kerinchi until the name was changed by DBKL in 2012, to reflect its upgraded image.

The backlash to his plan was fast and furious with netizens concerned that as a name Bangsar South is more valuable than Kampung Kerinchi.

But residents say Bangsar South means nothing to them and they want back Kerinchi.

One Nor Ahmad says he didn’t see the point of renaming Kerinchi as Bangsar South when Bangsar was just ‘on the other side’.

Apparently, Kampung Kerinchi’s history can be traced back to the 18th century when the area was occupied by a group of Kerinci people from Jambi, Acheh and Minangkabau, Indonesia, who settled there upon reaching Malaya.

A far cry from the “sikit atas” who occupy Bangsar South now. On the property market side, one consultant said, “It is not advisable to change the name Bangsar South to Kerinchi as foreign buyers are not familiar with Kerinchi.”

He was making the case for the value of branded development.

Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents ex president Siva Shanker told theSun paper that “branded developments and developers sell, which is why a branded developer can sell 75% of his project within two months, while a not-so-branded developer can only sell 20% in the same area.”

What is keenly obvious is that many businesses and offices have bought into the allure of Bangsar South, just as how Kajang South, Sentul West and KL North have come into being.

The question is, will investors in Bangsar South feel cheated if this gentrification of Kerinchi reverts back to its old name?

To make my point, check out the fancy addresses now in Bangsar South, where many agencies are happy to house their talents. Note the chic references to anything urbane, Manhattan-like and some say, a great job by the developer when it comes to star branding…

Level 6, Tower 9, Avenue 5, Horizon 1, Bangsar South/Level 13, Lobby B, Avenue 10,  The Vertical, Bangsar South.

These will sound different if YB Fahmi has his way:

Level 6, Tower 9, Avenue 5, Horizon 1, Kampung Kerinchi/Level 13, Lobby B, Avenue 10, The Vertical, Kampung Kerinchi.

I wonder if the rebranding will affect highly invested spun-off names like SouthLink, SouthView and so on.

And will Nexus Kerinchi or The Sphere Kerinchi still sound sexy?

By the Turbanned Stranger | ham@adoimagazine.com

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