What’s in a Name? Rebranding Your Property in Apartment Marketing
Published on: Monday, November 16th, 2015
The decision to rebrand your apartment community should be weighed carefully, as it can be a complicated and challenging overhaul for any property. Before you even think about altering your current brand, make sure you ask yourself: Who are you as a brand? What are you best known for? Does that mesh with your expectations of how you want to be perceived? Rebrand your apartment community isn’t a “fix” if you don’t know what is broken or why.
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge, there’s both an art and a science to getting it right. Here are a few tips from my experiences branding and rebrand your apartment community:
1. Rally the internal forces to win the external war. Although rebranding your apartment community typically focuses on winning over the outside world, it’s just as important to capture the hearts and minds of those within your organization. (It is my belief that you community ambassadors start from the inside.)
Provide creative ways for team members to personalize the transition. You can do this by designing activities to get your employees to engage with the new brand in a personal way so they feel a sense of ownership.One thing I’ve found helpful is implementing a launch week to get everyone onboard and excited. In a few instances, we created a brand book, explaining the origin and meaning behind the new name, as well as giving employees tips on how to complete some of the more mundane tasks involved in making the switch. To do this, we incentivized staff with prizes for daily tasks that ranged from changing email signatures and voicemail messages, to a photo contest designed to share images that capture the heart of the new brand, to filling out crossword puzzles that could only be completed by reading the brand book.
2. Find ways to create continuity. Even the smallest apartment communities can find it difficult to break the emotional ties to their old name. Be purposeful in creating pathways from the old brand to the new.Look for opportunities to bring elements that really matter, to your property and clients, to the new brand. It might be as simple as an iconic color, or typeface. Or maybe the new logo can retain parts of your former logo. In the rebrand of an apartment community that I recently lead, our team decided to keep the color green in logo, as it was a shared element between us the management company, and the property we had acquired. We recognized that something as simple as a color choice could ease the uniting of two cultures, and keep a visual consistency that made the transition easier for our employees, residents and prospects.
3. Give your creatives room to fly. Rebranding your apartment community should feel like a breath of fresh air for your business. Let your creative team feel like they can actually take that breath by shielding them from unnecessary bureaucracy.
4. Allow yourself the time you actually need but don’t be afraid to move. The rebranding of your apartment community process takes more time than most people realize. Winning over the necessary stakeholders can, in itself, take much longer than you anticipate.However, do not wait to launch until everything is “perfect.” You could spend eons waiting to make the leap, and even longer on the process itself. Sometimes you have to just jump. Decide what the minimal viable product is and make a move, knowing you can adjust and refine in the future.
5. Make sure your brand can evolve as you grow. A brand is more than just a color, logo or graphic; it is the essence of the property. Ideally, it will be around for years, so make sure you’ve got something that can grow and evolve, while remaining true to its essence. Rebranding your apartment community is no simple task, to be sure. But by implementing these tips, organizations can alleviate much of the headache that surrounds this transition and create a lasting brand, complete with buy-in from internal and external stakeholders. When done right, a new brand can inject fresh energy, and give a property new opportunities to have new conversations, communicate new value, and reach broader audiences than before