Why is branding so important to business? The term “brand” has evolved over the years, and in today’s highly competitive world, brand simply refers to the way the public perceives your entity.
People have brands, businesses have brands, properties have brands — whether they’re carefully crafted or not. This can be factual perceptions (it’s an apartment building in downtown Chicago) or emotional ones (it’s vibrant, romantic, or trustworthy).
When applying this concept to the multifamily market, properties must aim to guide the perception of their brand so it is not determined solely by its audience. In such a dense multifamily market, strategic branding is more important than ever.
When it comes to multifamily properties and development, branding matters before a brick is ever laid. According to Yardi Matrix estimates, 334,000 units are projected to be opened in the U.S. by the end of this year. In 2021, there were nearly three times more apartments under construction than there were in 2011. These figures are a result of the aftermath of the pandemic as well as the housing crisis of 2008.
So, how can you ensure your branding meets the demands of the multifamily market?
Without cohesion in all aspects of a multifamily development, a brand’s identity can be muddied. Before construction begins, developers and owners have determined the property’s identity, target audience, and ideal brand perception. Since the brand has therefore been established well before development starts, all teams in the process should be on the same page.
Architects and interior designers should fully understand how the building itself can support the identity, tone, and ideal resident. Graphic designers on the project should be able to iterate the concept through print and online presence in a way that will stand the test of time. It’s important that from the beginning, the property is being built to support what the brand stands for. A strong multifamily brand should connect from the exterior into the interiors and finishes, all the way to its online presence.
For example, the luxury high-rise apartment community in Plano had established a brand direction and personality well before its ceremonial groundbreaking. LVL 29 was built to bring a new essence and standard to living, one that carries clear tones of sophistication and timelessness through sleek and modern elements.
Before diving deep into the branding process, it’s important to have a clear resident buyer persona that will drive the direction and style from construction to online conversions. A persona is a semi-fictionalized character based on the interests, lifestyle, and personality of your ideal residents.
Understanding your persona inside and out will allow all aspects of the brand to connect and resonate with your target audience. Different demographics can react differently to color choice, interior finishes, amenities, logos, taglines, and online presence.
Whether you’re targeting young professionals with an active social life, college students wanting out of the dorms, new families with young children, or active adults facing an empty nest — each is looking for something different out of renting and will therefore be attracted to different brand elements.
Now that so many residents are renting by choice, there are new ways to stand out as a multifamily property aside from location, amenities, and price. How do you connect emotionally to your residents through a brand? Bring your property’s personality to life through the brand voice — make your mission to create experiences rather than fill units. Look at why residents are choosing to rent and where they are in their life stage, and work to address their emotional needs.
With the vast amount of multifamily properties popping up in urban cores and suburban destinations, it’s becoming much harder to differentiate. By creating a cohesive brand from the beginning and bringing it to life in new ways through development and design, you will be well positioned to make a powerful impact on the community and surrounding neighborhood.