Arguably one of the most valuable assets a multifamily property can have is its brand identity. It is carefully crafted to authentically represent the business to the property’s target audience. In more technical terms, a brand identity is how a business wants to be perceived by its audience or customers. The components of a brand identity can consist of the name, logo, tagline, color palette, typeface, and all forms of messaging. These components are created for the business to reflect the value and perception that the company is trying to bring to the market and to its audience.
Brand identity examples
Whether you notice or not, you experience many company brands on a daily basis in some way, shape, or form. The best and most well known companies have carefully crafted brands and brand identities. Interbrands Best Global Brands 2016 names the Top Ten Global Brands as: Apple, Google, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Toyota, IBM, Samsung, Amazon, Mercedes and GE. And unless you’re living under a rock, reading this list brings instant perceptions to mind – likes and dislikes, experiences you’ve had, how they make you feel.
Of course these are the best of the best, the most iconic brands in the world. But they didn’t start out that way; they’ve reached those levels slowly and painstakingly over time. A brand identity is built through consistency and repetition, that each experience someone has with it consistently delivers a positive experience over and over again. For the most successful brands, brand experience delivers on consumer expectations time and time again.
Getting to know your brand
Let’s get personal for a minute and start with a few simple questions, because you have to be able to articulate what kind of brand you have. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos says that “branding is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” Time to ask yourself about your own brand.
Are you portraying a specific lifestyle and personality that appeals to your residents?
This lives physically through imagery that’s on your website, social media, banners throughout your property, on drive-by window graphics, and the marketing materials your residents see and interact with regularly. Are these images carefully chosen to project the lifestyle and type of resident you’re trying to attract to your property?
- Are you targeting a specific age group or audience?
Your brand can certainly target a specific audience and age group. It’s important that a brand identity isn’t everything to everyone, but rather resonates with its messaging and character to the specific audience to whom you are appealing most.
- Is your brand memorable?
When you read that list of the biggest brands above, I’m guessing that specific images, words, logos, ads, taglines and other things came to mind based on memorable experiences you’ve had with those brands. Your multifamily property brand isn’t any different. When you think about all the elements of your brand identity – the logo and images, the promise and personality, the look and feel, the quality of service and overall living experience – these will leave a lasting impression on your audience and help to shape your brand identity over time.
- Do you inspire?
Your brand identity is not just about the functional elements of the visual outward-facing pieces of the brand. All those pieces should work together to inspire the story your brand is trying to tell.
In answering these questions, never forget who you are at the core. Keeping your brand message aligned with your core values, mission statement, and differentiators will help your audience connect with your company and gain a true understanding of what you stand for. If your residents connect with your brand, you will gain resident satisfaction and brand consistency. One of the most important aspects of brand communication is keeping your message authentic. In today’s world of social media norms where at any moment a video or image could go viral, this can obviously work positively or negatively. Keeping your brand message authentic and true to who you are builds trust, optimism, clarity, and is imperative to long term success.
Is your identity impressionable?
Finally, with all the elements mentioned above, the greatest success markers for your brand identity are repetition and consistency. As your residents and advocates tell your story through their experiences, and your identity is carefully applied across all forms of communication, brand equity is built.
As we all know, there won’t be a second chance to make that first impression. But there are many chances to reinforce a great impression. It’s critical to ensure that your brand identity is executed well and in a consistent manner. How your logo is placed on signage, on a billboard, on the website, or woven into the social media profile badge, makes an impression. The difference between seeing a well executed brand as opposed to one with a pixelated logo or blurry image is palpable as these initial views of your brand can leave a lasting impression with your potential audience. Your brand is your most valuable asset, if used correctly and consistently, it’s one of the easiest ways to communicate with your audience. So be picky. A strong brand over time builds confidence and trust from those who support it, share it, and live it.