Tips for creating a brand personality that sets you apart from the competition
As you approach your marketing strategy for the new year, or perhaps revisit your existing strategy, it’s a good time to get clear on your brand personality.
A brand personality goes beyond a logo or a tagline. It includes color and image choices, word choice and the overall vibe you present to potential customers. As you try to determine your unique personality and voice in marketing to your audience, resist the urge to simply copy your competitors. Sure, maybe they have caught the attention of exactly the buyer you’re trying to reach, but there are ways to speak to that audience while maintaining a unique presence in the marketplace.
Why Avoid Mimicking Competitors?
Have you ever seen those “Who Wore It Better?” features in women’s magazines? We found a particularly good one to illustrate (Jaden Smith vs. Lady Gaga with credit to 9gag):
Would you ever want to go up against Lady Gaga in a fashion duel? We didn’t think so.
No, your brand is not a megawatt music superstar, but you never want your target audience to see you as a somewhat inferior version of a competitor’s product.
Business Insider shared a video recently that highlighted some eerily similar famous (and some not-so-famous) logos.
Chanel or Gucci, Sega or CNN? While some of these logos represent companies in vastly different market spaces, similarities within or across industries can muddy your own marketing message.
Strive to Create a Unique Look and Feel … and Message
As we mentioned above, your brand personality encompasses so much more than a logo or service mark. Your website, brochures, ads, social media, signage, and more combine to create a presence, and you want buyers to notice it and remember it.
For our clients in the multifamily industry, the product might seem similar or identical from brand to brand: apartment homes. However, when you sell a home, your renters buy more than a shelter with walls, windows and floors. They buy location, lifestyle, cachet, art, design, environmental responsibility, amenities, entertainment, atmosphere and so much more.
As you create your brand, consider all aspects of your property: city, neighborhood and surroundings, interior, exterior, amenities, design, etc. Now, think about your current residents. Why did they choose your space over hundreds of other options? You want to share with potential buyers all the reasons your existing tenants love their home. Finally, consider your dream client and what he or she might be seeking. Wrap that aspirational and inspirational message into your design and brand messaging.
Examples From Our Work
We work almost exclusively with multifamily properties, and we can tell you that no two brands sell the same lifestyle or value proposition. Even within a parent brand, properties in different locations can have varying personalities.
For example, Echelon at Odenton’s branding conveys high-end sophistication. Even its new name speaks to its next-level amenities and resident experience:
Branding for another client, Sugarmont, takes on a more comfortable and laid-back vibe, but also communicates its residents’ colorful and active lives:
These properties represent two different cities (Odenton, MD and Salt Lake City, UT) and two distinctly different messages. For properties in the same city, or even the same neighborhood, creating that stand-out branding becomes even more important. You don’t want to be one of the options on the block; you want to be the only option on the block.
Show your buyers why you are the best choice to fit their personal lifestyle needs.