“Every interaction, in any form, is branding.” – Seth Godin
Our “brand” is our customer’s perception of us. A brand does not work if it does not connect with the right audience at the right time.
How you answer the phone is branding. How you respond to an email is branding. The speed of your website is branding. What you are wearing on a day-to-day basis is branding. Curb appeal is branding. Branding is much more than a logo.
Emotions and Facts
You should examine the rational and emotional values of your brand. Ask yourself these questions to determine your brand perception:
How would your resident describe your product? Old, new, luxury, modern? (This is more than the community; I want you to think about your service, amenities and community at large.)
What does your product provide for your ideal resident?
• Easy access to major freeways
• Great school districts
• A home
• State of the art fitness center
These are all things that can be used to differentiate you in the market.
How does your product make your resident look?
• Does it make it look like they made a smart decision because they are saving money?
• Does it make them look like they have a lot more money than they actually do?
• Does it reflect their lifestyle of convenience or amenities?
• Does it make them look more family oriented because the community is close to many kid friendly amenities?
How does your product make your resident feel? Do they feel like it is home and they are welcome.
Make Your Brand Memorable
Tip #1 Develop a passionate tribe of employees and residents.
Your residents and employees are the ones that have the most potential to fully embrace your brand. They are connected to your community in the most intimate way. Your tribe will turn your brand idea into a brand reality.
Tip #2 Create a strong and consistent social presence.
Tribes are very social people; they want to engage and share tips and facts and they are on many social platforms. If your brand is not in a social environment, it will be more difficult to make it memorable. The bulk of your brand and space should be on social media. It is an hourly and daily story of who you are.
Tip #3 Consciously create your personal brand.
People are not connecting with your community corporate entity, they are connecting with the person who is developing the relationship, both online and offline. For example, Misty has a 4-part color palate she follows every day. She wears one or more of those colors, whether it’s work or yoga clothes. She always uses certain fonts in her presentations as well.
The goal is to have the residents connect with you as well as the company brand.
Tip #4 Be present in the right places at the right time.
Make sure you are spending your engagement moments in the right places and at the right times. Please refer to the blog and presentation to determine the best social media platforms as well for your community.
Tip #5 What is your unique selling proposition?
If you want to be truly memorable, you need to determine what makes you unique. This is what will make your brand and community stand out to your perfect prospects.
Tip #6 Become a Storyteller (Humanize Your Brand)
Telling your community’s story does not simply involve listing facts about when your company was established or how many communities are a part of your property family. You must truly connect with your prospective resident through your brand using story. To do this, you must know exactly who your resident is and their interests. Use the questions from the beginning of this blog to help you determine this. This will help you choose the photos you use and the information links you share and will allow you to really connect with them.
• Find your humor
• Determine what makes you unique as a property and what will connect with your potential and current residents.
• Speak like a friend
• Choose to speak in a more casual tone or one that matches your brand.
• Blend online and offline
• You must be able to share your story on and offline to stay relevant in your resident’s eyes.
• Own your mistakes. This will humanize your brand and will make you more relatable to others. Acknowledge them and then talk about how you will resolve them.
• Don’t be anonymous
• Let your corporate and personal brand shine. Do not simply hid behind your corporate brand.
What is your value proposition? Always remember and focus on this when it comes to sharing your company’s stories. Choose resident stories that will attract your ideal residents. Think about what market or demographic your community is best for and the promises your property has to offer. Your value proposition will help your residents determine why they should care.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative