How to Identify and Leverage Your Multifamily Brand Storytellers
What is a multifamily brand?
A multifamily brand is a promise for all stakeholders and the inspiration that should drive you to do your best. It is essentially a filter for making business decisions.
As a marketing and multifamily branding agency, we conduct an unofficial survey on the perceptions of branding every time people ask us what we do.
Many things about a multifamily brand are visual. Design elements, fonts, and colors can evoke a property’s look and feel with just a first impression. And yet, this narrow thinking — or rather, misconception — about what a brand entails is why so many people in real estate are failing to connect with their audience and with a growing millennial and Gen Z demographic.
More Than an Apartment Logo
Multifamily branding is more than a recognizable name and emblem. A brand’s value can be found within the associated perceptions and emotions that it conveys.
Let’s take the Nike swoosh, for example. On its own, Nike’s logo is quite simply a checkmark (that’s the extent of its complexity). And yet, we associate that “checkmark” with concepts and values far beyond itself.
Simply placing the Nike swoosh on a product represents a promise of quality. We associate the swoosh with images of athletes, perseverance, and passion. The final minutes of a championship. The strength and talent are only earned through hard work.
That’s a pretty powerful “checkmark.”
Take any other well-known logo — The Ritz Carlton, Whole Foods, BMW, etc. — and consider what kind of brand images and emotions it triggers. These perceptions, whether consciously or not, guide consumer purchase decisions.
Now apply the same principles of perception to multifamily branding — like a luxury high rise or a neighborhood community.
What brand images are associated with your property? What architectural vision or lifestyle is conveyed?
Creating an Honest Brand From the Inside Out
Our challenge as a multifamily branding agency is finding out how to create a brand experience that resonates with the consumers. We want the experience to be echoed back to the customer in the visuals. The best way to build brand loyalty is by creating an honest brand. Open lines of communication between designers and leaders of the company are essential to designing honestly.
Good brands start from the inside out. The leaders create the vision. The vision creates the visual language. And the visual language turns into a system that is unified enough to be recognized as a cohesive brand. In this way, every communication of the brand is unified, from the way the CEO talks about the company, to the visual language, to the customer service.
How to Better Control Your Multifamily Brand Story
As a multifamily branding agency, we are tasked daily with creating or furthering a story for the brands we represent. However, so often, that story is thought of as one to be consumed via TV, radio, print, outdoor, or the web.
Sure, we all talk about mobile, building responsive websites, useful apps, etc., but it’s not often that we focus specifically on mobile storytelling.
As digital marketers, we pride ourselves so much on our ability to tell a brand’s story, but in reality, we have very, very little control over what that story is.
So, who are your brand storytellers? And how do you approach each of them?
- Your brand → Your brand should always communicate the “why.” People don’t buy what you do, but rather why you do it.
- Advocates → You have to recruit influencers, inspire them to keep advocating for your brand, and reward them for doing so.
- Fans → Your fans like your brand, and hopefully, you’ve been able to build a community around them. But these people aren’t brand advocates just yet. Give these people props when they do talk about your brand, and hopefully, you can convert them into advocates.
- Haters → Your haters will always be there, no matter the industry in which your brand exists. However, you really need to listen to these people and heed the things they are saying about your business, even if you don’t want to hear it. Engage with them, and make them like you.
In order to fulfill all of this, brands need to figure out how to tell the story from the middle.
Traditionally, stories have a beginning, middle, and end. But, with social media, your multifamily brand is constantly having to keep up. You should tell your story from the middle, in the “right now.” There is never an end.
Finally, brands need to know which kinds of stories to tell. Tell a story that is inspiring, entertaining, or trending. Tell stories of how your brand cares, and most importantly be human.
Real Estate’s Roadmap to Nike
We’ll let you in on the secret to Nike’s brand success: it was deliberate. In the early stages, the company sat down and asked themselves:
- What is Nike?
- Who are our customers?
- If Nike was a person, what kind of personality traits and values would he or she internalize?
Every great brand has a plan. And in a crowded market, a great brand can resonate and differentiate.
Multifamily branding is more than an apartment logo — it’s an emotional experience, a taste of a lifestyle, and a framework through which to grow.
The first steps of multifamily branding may seem like silly introspection, but don’t be fooled. Building blocks can seem quite simple, until one day they’re a building.