AS FAR AS luxury residential properties go, The Arch is a showpiece. The tallest skyscraper in Kowloon, it offers 1,000 units ranging in size from 500 to 5,500 sqft, including five three-storey Sky Houses that have master suites, private swimming pools and floor-to-ceiling windows with stunning harbour views. Even the smaller apartments offer huge master suites, open-plan living rooms and balconies. At the blueprint stage, the task was to make the development stand out from the rest surrounding Kowloon station. The developer was also intent on outperforming the competition without resorting to a price war. To do that, The Arch's designers, with substantial input from marketing, built a world-class luxury residential development that would set the pace in pricing for its category and locale. At the same time, The Arch was meant to cement developer Sun Hung Kai Properties' (SHKP) leading position as a developer of luxury residential properties. 'The success of a marketing campaign hinges on its ability to empathise with the needs of the prospective buyers and trigger their purchase desire,' said Anita Chan, deputy general manager of Sun Hung Kai Real Estate Agency. 'The property market is highly susceptible to economic cycles and home purchase probably is one of the most important decisions that one makes in a lifetime. People do not generally succumb to impulse buying in this risk-laden and, for most people, lifetime commitment.' To make people part with a substantial sum, the marketing campaign must convince them that their prospective purchase would satisfy a real need. So, defining the unique selling points of The Arch was the first task. All marketing, promotion and brand building of the property was focused on four key factors - distinction, innovation, supremacy and variety. The property's unique arch shape served as an iconic feature that could be promoted. 'Our campaign promoted The Arch as a world-class residential property and a price leader in Kowloon residential property sales,' Ms Chan said. 'The idea was to excite and inspire potential buyers to pay a premium for the property. The development of the Sky Club, 500 feet above ground - the first such facility in a residential complex in Hong Kong - gave us the winning edge. We wanted to ensure that the concept of a 'high living style' was closely tied to the property itself, well accepted, and attractive to status-conscious homebuyers.' Ms Chan and her team were involved with the architects from the blueprint stage, when the shape of the development was decided. As a surveyor and marketer, Ms Chan strongly supported the arch shape of the property as its iconic feature. The marketing team also visited and drew inspiration and references from prestigious clubhouses and restaurants of renowned hotels such as the Roppongi Hills in Tokyo, the Park Hyatt Tokyo, the Mandarin Oriental New York and the Grande Arche de La Defence in Paris to ensure that The Arch would be on par with these properties in terms of brand image. Within two weeks of the launch, more than 85 per cent of all available units were sold, netting more than $10 billion - a Hong Kong record.