Creating an Instantly Recognizable National Multifamily Brand

A national multifamily brand attracts renters in various markets

While each apartment community is as unique as the neighborhood that surrounds it, building national multifamily brand recognition can help foster loyalty among renters. 

Within the industry, several companies have made the move toward national brand awareness. For example, as reported by Bisnow, MMA recently announced a plan to attach its name to 300 communities across the country. A smaller brand, Crescent Communities, rebranded its 29 lifestyle communities under the name Novel in 2017.  

According to Bisnow

“While much less common in the multifamily industry than in hotels, smartphones or apparel, branding has been growing in popularity in the apartment world.”

We have to laugh at that observation just a little, because branding has always been a huge focus of our work for multifamily clients. Branding sets the stage for marketing strategy, renter attraction and resident retention. Crafting a brand style, message and name that remains consistent from property to property gives residents a sense of familiarity and comfort. Your brand begins to feel like a friend. 

One Brand, Multiple Unique Properties 

When Mill Creek Residential reached out to us to create a national brand for its properties, we had the advantage of insider multifamily operations and marketing knowledge. That meant we didn’t need to spend as much time in the discovery phase that other agencies would undertake. We knew the landscape from the beginning. 

Our knowledge and insight, plus a unique crowdsourcing approach to logo development, that generated 1,300 responses, resulted in a standout look and feel. The resulting brand identity and brand mark – Modera by Mill Creek – had created a buzz even before it launched. 

Today, more than 90 properties in 15 states carry the Modera name and logo. A quick browse of the Modera portfolio reveals that each of these communities carries an individual style and renter appeal, but the national brand delivers a promise of dependable quality, desirable amenities and a commitment to resident service. 

These screenshots from two Modera properties, one in Seattle and one in Washington, D.C. Florida, highlight both the similarities and differences in the branding and marketing strategy: 

national multifamily brand

The Modera brand strategy highlights its premier, sought-after locations as well as attention-to-detail and modern luxury. The brand look and feel relies heavily on high-quality photography to visually communicate the caliber of the apartments.

Lifestyle Meets Affordability

Another of Mill Creek’s national brands that we developed, Alister, appeals to renters who want the promise of a comfortable and well-appointed lifestyle on a more modest budget. Like Modera, the common brand name and logo help create awareness of what prospective renters can expect at each of the 15 Alister properties in 10 states. 

The Alister brand focuses more on convenience, comfort, family- and pet-friendly features. You can see in these two images how that message translates for one property in Texas and another in Boston: 

Similar to the Modera brand approach, Alister utilizes vibrant photography to help apartment shoppers imagine their new life in the community.

Tying It Together 

A strong national brand will help you develop a cohesive story that will inform your marketing strategy. 

As you can see with the Mill Creek examples, differentiated brands can also support a multi-tiered multifamily acquisition strategy. Having a clear idea of the market you’re trying to reach allows you to make more strategic decisions in acquiring or developing properties to meet that market’s needs. 

Our team has more than 20 years’ experience in developing multifamily brands and compelling brand stories. If you’re ready for a new branding and marketing strategy, reach out to us.

Posted By

Sara Bess