Apartment homes are more than a temporary place to live. To residents, these units are their homes and reflect their lifestyle. It is important to build a community brand that is both enduring and endearing and easily connects to prospective renters. Here are the 6 steps to branding success for your multifamily community:
1. Brand Identity
Creating your brand identity is about much more than just creating a logo. You must take the time and effort to create a lasting Mission Statement, come up with a set of Core Values and identify what you want your Brand Promise to be. A great example of a multifamily organization that has a strong brand identity is The Bozzuto Group. From the moment you visit their site, you get a clear picture of who they are, what they stand for, and how they operate. Their website also evokes emotion with a simple, easy-to-understand design.
2. Brand Personality
You want your brand to portray a unique personality. The first step in creating your Brand Personality is to identify your Brand Archetype. Is your multifamily organization considered an industry leader? Do you tend to be ahead of the curve because your communities have the latest-and-greatest in amenities? If so, you need to demonstrate that leadership to your market in the colors you use in your brand and the pillar words you use to describe your organization, such as: trusted, fun, innovative, connected and/or inspired.
3. Brand Positioning
Before you can position your brand, you need to get a better understanding of your customer base. The best way to understand your consumers is by interviewing them, analyzing the data, and then turning that data into personas. You can [and should] have more than one persona! Naturally, it would be silly to assume all of your prospective tenants are the same. Take CamdenLiving for example. You head to their site and can immediately get a sense of the community culture at Camden. With vibrant imagery, friendly taglines, and conscious pops of color, Camden does a great job of bringing their brand to life.
4. Brand Image
Now that you have identified what your organization stands for and the perception you want to establish in the community, it’s time to issue brand guidelines so that others cannot destroy your brand’s image. These guidelines include: trademarks, a defined color palette with primary and secondary colors that are unique to your brand, fonts, e-mail signatures and even uniforms that your faculty and staff wear while in the office, at tradeshows, or other events.
5. Brand Storytelling
Stories are memorable. Stories create action. Great stories are true. When you create a story with your brand, people are more likely to remember that story and want to share it with others. Ask yourself the following questions: What story does my multifamily community tell? What will make others want to tell it? How can I inspire emotion or action through the story I tell? Who do I want to react to the story?
6. Brand Touchpoints
Renters might find you by your website, maybe they will see you while walking down the street. Heck, customers might even find you via Twitter. When they do, they should see the same logos, colors, and fonts every time (touchpoint). In order to be 100% branded, you must be consistent! As marketers, we cannot stress this point enough! Branding is all about consistency and repetition.
Now that you know what makes a brand both endearing and enduring, it’s time to take action!