Staying Relevant in a Changing Marketplace

Staying relevant and growing a brand that meets modern consumers’ needs

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When you logged into your phone or computer this morning, where did you go first? Facebook? Instagram? Maybe one of the new social sites like Vero or TikTok? (Don’t panic if you don’t know those names: There’s a new social platform every day.)

It’s incredibly easy to feel pulled in too many directions in an always-on world and, as a business owner, it’s tempting to jump on the new-trend bandwagon. However, staying relevant doesn’t have to mean following every trend.

As branding and marketing design specialists, we help multifamily brands focus on a brand story that honors their legacies while adapting to meet changing market needs.

We posted recently about operating with a growth mindset. Strategy should fuel that growth. Rather than trying to appeal to all people, or trying to reach all platforms or outlets, we recommend sharpening your focus. Here’s how to do that:

Focus on Your Target Market

If you don’t have a specific target audience in mind, it’s time to create one. The hallmark of modern consumers is a need to feel connected to a brand. Buyers (aka renters) want brands that fit their values and their lifestyles, and they won’t recognize that in you if you’re trying to appeal to a broad audience.

Begin by looking at your current residents and survey them if possible. Why did they choose your property? Why do they stay? Then branch out and try to discover the traits of people searching for rental homes in your area.

For example, if you want to target the growing baby boomer rental market, consider their primary needs and values:

  • Healthy lifestyle that includes healthy food, exercise and recreation options

  • While this group has spending power in the trillions, they also want value for their money

  • That said, they will pay more for amenities and services that fit their lifestyle needs

  • Technology; this group is more tech-savvy than you might think

  • Low-maintenance living with lifestyle-friendly features

When you begin to understand your target audience, you can continue to develop a relevant brand that fits their needs.

Stay True to Your Brand

If you haven’t updated your property or associated brand in decades, then it’s time to shake things up. Consider a rebranding and a possible renovation to better meet current market demands.

However, if you do have a brand that fits into the modern landscape, approach any changes or strategies with a growth mindset that fits your brand. You can read 100 articles telling you about the hottest marketing trend, newest social platform or renter-attraction strategy, but they won’t mean much if you don’t understand and honor your brand.

For example, if you have a luxury brand that appeals to renters who love arts and culture, you don’t want to follow any trend that’s too cutesy or casual. Luxury buyers will steer clear of you if they sense that you don’t understand their lifestyle needs.

Get clear on your brand personality and follow a growth strategy that fits it.

Take Some Risks

Once you have a clear brand- and customer-driven strategy, consider trying something new. You will hear a lot of chatter about “disruption,” especially in technology circles, and even small risks or changes can help disrupt your industry.

In multifamily, those changes have often come in the form of innovative amenities, such as:

  • Lifestyle-focused services like pet salons

  • Green spaces and community gardens

  • On-site dining or cocktail lounges

  • Luxury community spaces

  • Resident events focused on creating a sense of community

You can also take risks in how you market your property. Consider:

  • Hosting public events that showcase your property for prospects

  • Sponsoring a community volunteer event

  • Creating a social hub on your website for residents and community members alike

  • Elevating your current resident experience with move-in gifts or perks (taking care of current residents supports both retention and referrals - don’t ignore them)

Most importantly, if something no longer works for your brand, ditch it. Stop wasting time, energy and resources on strategies that don’t make sense in a 2019 world. Try something new and continue to grow with the times.

If you need help creating a relevant multifamily brand, contact us. We can help you with branding, rebranding, design and marketing.