Building A Brand: How to Differentiate in a Booming Market
Brands are the new currency. They drive exceptional value when circulated through any market. With so many high-quality multifamily developments all within a click or swipe, great branding is now the most reliable way to differentiate yourself from your competition.
Technology has reshaped the way messages are delivered. There’s an unprecedented opportunity to reach the right prospect at the right time. But if your messages aren’t properly tailored to match their personality, you become noise that people simply tune out. That’s why the market leaders focus their attention on branding before marketing efforts begin. The rules are changing for multifamily developers. Marketing strategies are evolving to achieve faster lease-ups and push revenues higher. The building boom is delivering multiple competing projects simultaneously. It’s never been more important to differentiate your property from the competition. By building a brand for your project, it’s easier to attract the right people to your community.
Branding is often misunderstood. Simply designing a logo isn’t a brand. Brands are based on strategic market positioning, using carefully crafted language, images and experiences to create a predictable emotional reaction. Your logo is just an image that represents the brand, and the emotion it’s positioned to generate. Branding is emotional engineering; it forges a consistent reaction when the people it’s crafted for encounter it. For multifamily projects, the most effective emotion is love. When someone falls in love with your property, then the rational decision-making process is influenced emotionally. This results in a sense of urgency, driving faster action to avoid losing something you love.
5 laws for differentiating your multifamily development in a booming market
1. Know Thyself.
Great brands are revealed, not created. Finding the brilliance behind your brand starts with a deep investigation in your project. When people decide to learn more about themselves, it requires soul searching to discover what’s inside. Your project requires the same exploration. Authentic brands are easy to maintain and communicate because they are honest. The basis for your brand comes from this intelligence. Start early and work with an experienced branding team who can objectively uncover what’s relevant.
2. Curate Your Community.
Consciously develop a strategic plan for the type of community you’re building. By curating a residence of like-minded individuals who share common values, the result is a spirit of harmony that’s extremely appealing to a specific type of person. This forges a personality that communicates intuitively while also generating a reputation maintained by the community itself. It translates into strong word of mouth marketing opportunities, and forms the foundation for positive online reviews to satisfy research efforts from new resident prospects.
3. The Power of Design.
Exposure to exceptional design is now elementary, thanks to unprecedented access to artistic content, creative publishing and social sharing. It’s raised expectations for what lifestyle aspirations are made of. The result is a far more astute customer who associates success with elevated design. From interior finishes to the architecture itself, great design provides the initial visual appeal that sets the stage for strong emotional attachment. Ultimately, it fuels a sense of urgency for new prospects to act fast. When appearances exceed expectations through inventive and remarkable design, a strong emotional connections forms driving a passionate response. With it comes fear of loss, a powerful motivator that helps justify quick, impulsive decisions.
4. Make it Experiential.
There’s a craving for memorable experiences, and it’s being met with programming that delivers interactive, curated moments that generate excitement. For multifamily projects, the experience begins upon arrival. Signage plays a key role in setting expectations and can be used strategically to reinforce the brand position. Fully considered path of travel can be like theater, providing and reliable experience as your prospects move through the spaces. Property management can extend into event programming to encourage community interaction. The result is an overall lifestyle experience that differentiates your development from ordinary.
5. Dominate Digital.
While print still plays an important role in communications, new digital platforms have become the primary way to reach your prospect. But the noise from low-quality, poorly-targeted digital messaging has saturated our attention, desensitizing us to recognize only the most relevant items. Begin by crafting a profile of your target resident’s behavior using a combination of programmatic advertising and paid search. Then generate high-quality content that specifically relates to the targeted behavior. Make sure the property website is exceptional, invest in search engine optimization for natural search results, leverage maps and review sites, and maintain active social media presence. Privacy laws are extremely relaxed, offering unprecedented opportunities for programmatic ads based geo-targeting directly to mobile devices. Retarget prospects who show interest with display ads. Digital strategy is complex, and many budget-based offerings are inadequate. If it seems to cheap to be true it probably is.
Building a brand for multifamily projects requires an integrated approach that combines different strategies. A meaningful marketing plan based on great branding tends to be more effective because it’s designed to resonate with a targeted resident profile. The return on investment for a well executed branding strategy can easily generate high multiples. Consider the revenue from a mere 1% increase in rents across a large multifamily property. Faster absorptions of units helps offsets debt more quickly. Higher close ratios reduce staffing needs. Managing risk in the process is easier by using an expert. Find a partner who knows your market, can reflect your property’s character, and has a defined methodology for success.
The business case for branding cannot be ignored, which is why it’s so hot. When you’ve built a brand, you’ll differentiate your multifamily project in a booming market.